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State border closures tipped to continue for many months

3AW Breakfast
Article image for State border closures tipped to continue for many months

With Australians expected to endure state border closures for many months to come, frustrated Aussies have called for the government to take a more hands on approach to coordinating COVID-19 border restrictions.

Epidemiologist Tony Blakely has told The Age he expects it will be at least another six months before enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19 to stop intermittent border closures.

But constitutional law expert at the Melbourne Law School, Professor Cheryl Saunders, says states are “containing the virus extremely well” and she expects they will continue with deciding their own border restrictions until such measures are no longer needed.

“The states have always had some of the basic responsibilities for things like hospitals, education,” Professor Saunders told Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power, filling in for Ross and Russel.

“What we have here is a functioning federation.

“They’re containing the virus extremely well and we’ve got a lot of community support for what’s being done.

“In a country like Australia where it’s a very geographically large country … it’s not at all surprising that there’s some variation between what goes on between, say, Perth and Hobart.”

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