Deadly virus border closures ‘keeping us from living’ – PM
The coronavirus is "keeping us from living" as long as the borders stay shut and Australians are disconnected, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as pressure builds on Queensland over its harsh restrictions.
South Australia is expected to make an announcement today regarding when it is likely to open up to ACT and NSW, while the Northern Territory has already set an October 9 date to reopen to greater Sydney if its cases remain low.
Mr Morrison said testing, contact tracing and containment, as well as "COVID-safe behaviours" prevented the virus moving among the population.
"During this pandemic, by Australia pursuing both, we continue to do better than almost every other developed country in the world when it comes to protecting lives and livelihoods," he said at a major economic speech in Newcastle on Tuesday.
"But as long as we are closed, we cannot claim success, as a country.
"If we are shut, we are not living alongside the virus, the virus is actually keeping us from living."
He said Victoria was emerging from its second wave.
"Let's now seize the opportunity ahead of us to safely and successfully reopen this country, reconnect this country, and stay open," Mr Morrison said.
"Only when businesses can see their way to expanding what they do and how many more people they can employ, then they can see that, that's why they will invest."
Queensland has come under fire for its strict border restrictions, which has locked people from COVID-free regions in northern NSW and the ACT out of the state for funerals and visiting dying loved ones.
Originally published as Deadly virus border closures 'keeping us from living' - PM