Adam Marshall’s weekly COVID-19 update as at 5pm, Friday, July 10

This week it has been a case of one border opens and another one closes with the deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Victoria placing NSW authorities on high-alert.

I want to reassure our communities both states are united in their effort to stop the illness spreading beyond the identified Melbourne hot-spots which is why, for the first time in 100 years, NSW has closed its border with Victoria.

Under this arrangement anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days must not enter NSW unless they hold a valid entry permit, they are authorised to enter under the order or they are accompanying someone allowed to enter as a dependent, or to provide care or support to them.

NSW residents are allowed to return home but they must self-isolate for 14 days immediately after re-entry.

The daily rate of infection down south is both astounding and frightening, which is why we must all do our bit to ensure not one single case occurs up here.  

In good news, the great caravan-migration north is currently underway after the Queensland border re-opened today.

I know towns like Moree, Bingara and Warialda have been full to the brim with visitors eagerly waiting to jump the border and escape winter. This has provided a welcome economic boost to many of our small businesses who have been starved of a decent tourist season since the start of the drought three years ago. 

Travellers are reminded it is not as easy as just hopping in your car and crossing the border, with residents needing to apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass. 

The declaration gives an undertaking that the person will present for a COVID-19 test if the person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of entering Queensland.

A separate declaration pass is required for each individual, including children, and all travellers in the party must be eligible to enter Queensland. The passes do have a shelf-life and must be used within seven days of being approved.

Closer to home, our region is still COVID-19 free, with no new cases in the last two months.

Despite this, we must remain vigilant.

Finally, to avoid our own coronavirus flare-up it falls on all of us to follow the below advice from our medical experts:

  • follow the rules about gatherings, self-isolation and quarantine;
  • maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others;
  • practise good hand hygiene;
  • stay active and healthy;
  • take extra care if you’re around vulnerable people;
  • get tested if you have any symptoms, even if they are only mild; and
  • follow NSW Health advice about staying home while you are waiting for test results.

The risk is real and only by remaining alert can we ensure this illness does not return to our region.

It looks like there is some wet stuff on the way this weekend so stay dry and warm.