(Information in this update has been provided by the Queensland Trucking Association).
VIC-Border Breaking News
The Victorian Premier has announced today:
With community transmission clearly happening in South Australia and in light of the wastewater test results along freight routes in Victoria, the Government is following public health advice and has made the difficult decision to introduce temporary border controls with South Australia. Link to media release.
From Midnight tonight (Thursday 19 November) there will be a hard border closure for 48 hours until a permit system is introduced at midnight on Saturday 21st November.
What you need to know:
Under the hard border (and until the permit system is introduced), only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, urgent animal welfare or as authorised by law will be able to pass through the border.
The final details of the permit scheme will be provided as soon as possible but the reasons to enter Victoria from South Australia from Saturday night will include:
- if you are an emergency services worker or a worker providing essential services
- for agricultural work
- to receive medical care (including seeking coronavirus testing), obtain medical supplies or compassionate reasons
- to shop to obtain essential supplies
If any of your staff live or have visited Portland or Benalla:
Fragments of the virus that causes coronavirus were detected in untreated wastewater taken from Portland and Benalla wastewater treatment plants on 17/11/2020. The preliminary positive test results received yesterday are unexpected and concerning given there are no residents of either area known to have had a recent coronavirus illness or diagnosis.
Residents of Portland and Benalla and anyone who has visited between 15 and 17 November with any symptoms at all are urged to get tested, and to isolate until they get their result. Hours will be extended at local testing sites for the coming days, with additional testing capacity to be made available. Further wastewater samples are being taken from those two towns – and this detection has no impact on local water supplies.
With community transmission clearly happening in South Australia and in light of the wastewater test results along freight routes in Victoria, the Government is following public health advice and has made the difficult decision to introduce temporary border controls with South Australia.
Border Check Points:
Victoria Police will establish check points on roads between South Australia and Victoria – a similar approach to what we saw around the perimeter of metropolitan Melbourne while travel restrictions were in place.
From today 19/11/20, interstate truck drivers travelling through Victoria from South Australia will be offered extra testing at a site at Nhill on the Western Highway. Other testing sites are being activated at other major freight routes. Drivers can also be tested at more than 193 other sites across Victoria.
Note: further to yesterday’s update, there has been no change to the Victorian requirements, where freight operators do not need to have a COVID-19 test if they are asymptomatic but must have an appropriate COVIDsafe plan in place.there has been no change to the requirement for testing. Thanks to the VTA for clarifying this.
The Victorian Government is working with major freight companies, independent operators and industry peak bodies to provide advice about the need for testing and all tested will have their samples fast-tracked for analysis.
This information is relevant for anyone with staff working at your depots in South Australia and any drivers who have travelled into these areas.
Link to locations where it is advised to monitor symptoms if visited on specific days and times.