Community Fears Rise As Regional Victoria Reopens To Sydney

Albury Wodonga battles outbreak

Article heading image for Community Fears Rise As Regional Victoria Reopens To Sydney

Albury Mayor Kevin Mack says communication from the government has been "patchy".

Regional Victoria has welcomed back vaccinated Sydneysiders amid the escalating Covid outbreak in Albury-Wodonga.

Whilst the twin cities have seen high vaccine uptake it still has 800 active Covid cases. 

Albury City Mayor Kevin Mack says the community has been frustrated by the state government's patchy communication. 

"I think we are the guinea pigs for the regions at the moment. In some ways I understand that, because the regions of Australia need to get back to some sort of COVID normal. But with that comes a whole range of inconsistencies," he said.

Fully vaccinated Victorians are now allowed out of the border bubble and can travel to NSW without a declaration or being subjected to stay-at-home orders (as long as they have not been in a place of high concern). Fully vaccinated Australians can also return home from other countries. 

Border health services have been struggling to keep up with the testing demand as more schools record become caught up in Covid outbreaks. There are fears the need for testing will skyrocket in the wake of the regions opening up.

Yesterday, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant apologised to the community for poor communication, especially in relation to schools. 

"I apologise to anyone who had confusing messages. We will do better," she said.

But Mack said it wasn’t just schools. He says businesses have experienced just as much patchy communication from the government. 

"When the schools are locked down like they have in the last two weeks, that's parents that aren't going to work. Productivity drops significantly, so our economy is doubly affected. We need decent economic stimulus," he said.

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Hit News Team

2 November 2021

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