Intrastate travel restrictions to be lifted from 1 June in NSW
20 May 2020, Written by David Simmons
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has encouraged residents to get out and visit the state's regions when intrastate travel restrictions are lifted on 1 June.
Timed just one week before the Queen's Birthday long weekend, Berejiklian hopes people will take a "well-earned holiday" and stimulate the state's hardest hit regions.
"This is the day we've all been looking forward to since the COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place earlier this year and I would like to thank everyone for their patience during the past few months of being cooped up at home," Berejiklian said.
"I must stress to everyone that, while we want people to enjoy a well-earned holiday, we must do this responsibly and continue to abide by physical distancing measures, as the last thing we want is further outbreaks that will force us to reintroduce restrictions."
Deputy Premier John Barilaro says the lifting of intrastate travel restrictions will be welcomed with open arms by communities in NSW who have been decimated by both the bushfires and now COVID-19 restrictions.
"COVID could not have come at a worse time for regional NSW, with towns already doing it tough due to bushfires and drought and so I encourage everyone to make plans to safely and responsibly visit their favourite regional holiday destination, or discover a new one," Barilaro said.
"I encourage holidaymakers to visit local businesses, enjoy local attractions and feast on the best food regional NSW has to offer, and for those not able to get away in June, to start making plans for later in the year when even more businesses will be open.
"I'm very pleased to share that this means we will have a ski season this year, however holidaymakers should be aware that ski resorts will likely need time to put COVID plans into place and you should make contact before visiting."
In addition to intrastate travel restrictions being lifted, museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions will reopen on 1 June.
Berejiklian has once again emphasised that NSW's borders are still open, saying it is imperative that the State's economy keeps on ticking.
"Of course, New South Wales is always open to welcome people from other states, we intend to keep our borders open," says Berejiklian.
"We think that's best for New South Wales but also best for Australia and we will play our part as the largest state, as traditionally the economic powerhouse of the nation, to make sure we generate as much economic activity as possible in a safe environment."
Berejiklian says the decision to lift intrastate travel restrictions comes as the data being recorded about COVID-19 infections proves to be promising.
"At this stage the numbers are so small that we're very comfortable with the steps we're taking," says Berejiklian.
"Even the community transmission is less than what we anticipated at this time.
"But it doesn't come without risk, and our measure of success shouldn't be a small number of cases every day because we won't be able to maintain that."
Updated at 9:46am AEST on 20 May 2020.
Author: David Simmons