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Freedom is closed borders, crowd limit now “30,000”

Western Australians will be allowed have 30,000 spectators at the biggest venue in the state this weekend. Phase four means half packed stadiums, nightclubs bars and gyms are all back in action. Venues will be allowed to pack in people to the two square meter rule. Phase five starts July 18th where all rules are dropped, bar two — the state border will stay shut and so will remote indigenous communities.

The state border is the reason nearly everything else within it, is close to normal.

Coronavirus crisis: Stage four of roadmap allows 30,000 fans to attend football at Optus Stadium from this Saturday

 The West Australian: “Big events at these venues can be organised over the next few weeks. Western Australians will hold the largest crowds in the country by far.

Suddenly open borders doesn’t look so appealling to NSW

All states in Australia closed their borders, except for New South Wales and  Victoria. For the last month the states with the most virus to share have been demanding the states without virus open up their borders. But after 160 new infections in Victoria this week, the Premier of NSW is now advising constituents not to visit Melbourne or the hot-spots in Victoria “unless it’s absolutely essential“. Other members of the NSW government are “not ruling out” travel restrictions. Queensland, which was thinking of opening up its borders, is now rethinking. The irony is that if NSW closed borders to Victoria, they might be able to travel everywhere else in Australia so much sooner.

This is the paradox of  border control: the smaller the units, the more expensive it is to impose, but it can be shorter, faster and much more flexible. In the post-covid world, hopefully we will see stronger national borders that can be quickly opened and closed as needed.

In Western Australia closing the borders with an enforced two week quarantine was the most effective virus control, but they weren’t closed soon enough. There was still community spread from unknown sources which meant some domestic restrictions were necessary.

Cases are still arriving from overseas, but they are stopped by the two week quarantine.

Western Australia Infections, Coronavirus, Graph.

In Western Australia closing the borders made the biggest difference. Source: Dept Health WA

According to the graph the last case of unknown source was the 6th of June (which doesn’t sound remotely distant enough to safely start filling stadiums). But it may be a misprint or error, as Health Dept press releases at the time appeared to account for all cases.  About 120,000 tests have been done. Currently there are only about 500 tests a day for Covid in the state at the moment, but test positivity is obviously “low”.

Good luck to Victorians.

Why is almost no one talking about the biggest mistake in national policy for decades? Open Borders.

The News

PS: Tonight on the 7:30 Report was the first time I’d heard anyone (other than me) say say that we should have closed borders earlier. That was former National Treasurer, Peter Costello, just wistfully.  8mins 50.

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