Industry Update – Borders to open to Victoria, standing drinking, and WA opens to SA

South Australian Tourism Commission

Good afternoon,

An incredible milestone for South Australia today, with the Premier Steven Marshall announcing the lifting of border restrictions with Victoria from 1 December.

This means our largest domestic tourism market will be able to visit our great state once again, without restrictions. It is not only important for tourism, but key for reuniting families and loved ones, which have been away since the hard border came into effect on 8 July. The lifting of the border is dependent on not having any ‘mysterious’ cases of community transmission emerge in that time, either locally or in Victoria.

Coming out of the National Cabinet meeting today to make the announcement, the Premier also advised that Western Australia will lift its border restrictions to SA from midnight tonight. While our border has been open to WA, this means visitors can now move freely between our two states and we can get set to enjoy an increase in Western Australian visitors and the self-drive market because of this.

Another key announcement, the Premier is considering next Friday 20 November to allow for standing alcohol consumption inside venues in our state, as long as the new QR code and identification scanning system is operational. While the one person per 2sqm rule will stay in place, it is encouraging to see restrictions lift and I’m sure this will make life a little easier for SA’s hospitality sector.

These border announcements align with the Federal Government’s plan to have all states and territories’ borders open by Christmas. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison reinforced this plan following today’s National Cabinet meeting, and it is one that is critical to tourism operators across the country.

It’s important to note that the Premier recognised that Australia is in an enviable position. With other regions around the world, like the UK and the USA, reporting some of their highest daily number of COVID cases and some countries going back into lockdown. It is a sombre thought but an important reminder of our responsibility to keep up practices like physical distancing, hand hygiene and testing.

I look forward to seeing the benefits these easing of restrictions bring to our state’s visitor economy, and the SATC will get to work to entice our largest tourism market back to our great state. Last year, Victoria made up nearly half of SA’s interstate overnight visitors, at 47 per cent and spending just over $1 billion.

It is onward and upward from here, with caution and vigilance. As the Premier said today at his announcement; “Every South Australian can feel proud of the way we have taken on this Coronavirus. It’s challenged us, but it hasn’t beaten us”.

Have a great weekend,

Rodney Harrex

Chief executive

See the full Industry Update – 13 November 2020 here.

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