Sumary of Covid-free Australian states resist opening:
- PERTH, AUSTRALIA: It can seem like Australia’s west coast has almost entirely avoided Covid-19.A mask-free nightlife is thriving and huge crowds are turning out for sporting events, including 53,000 rugby fans, who crammed into a Perth stadium to watch New Zealand’s All Blacks defeat Australia’s Wallabies on a recent sunny Sunday.
- “We are in paradise,” said one of those fans, Andrea Williams, who is all for the region continuing to defy the federal government and maintain strict border restrictions that keep it separated from the pandemic raging in large parts of the rest of Australia.
- While the cities of Sydney and Melbourne in the east have been under strict lockdown with a surge of virus cases, the Western Australia state capital of Perth has largely remained open for business – behind its shut borders.
- States that remain virtually Covid-free, including Western Australia and Queensland, face growing pressure to open their borders with the national government arguing that internal border restrictions are a drag on the national economy.
- Industry groups complain that border closures create critical shortages of labor and supplies, impede trade, inflate construction costs and constrain business opportunities.
- Williams said she’s for the border closures even if that means she can’t be together with her daughters in Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand.
- The federal government is impatient to end policies, such as tough international border restrictions, that have largely kept Covid-19 at bay since March 2020. But its vaccination goal for opening borders – 80 percent of those 16 and older – remains elusive with 40-percent fully vaccinated.
- In mid-June, an unvaccinated limousine driver tested positive for Delta after he was infected while transporting a US cargo aircrew from Sydney’s airport.