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In news that will delight anyone who has been cooped up in their home for weeks, regional holidays will finally be allowed in New South Wales from June.
The state government has revealed that people will be able to crisscross NSW as much as they like as the threat of the coronavirus wanes.
There were two new coronavirus infections on Tuesday (May 19), taking the state's total to 3,078.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "But please know it won't be a holiday like before. We still have to exercise social distancing. We have to book ahead. Please make sure you plan ahead.
"Book as many things as possible online and call ahead to the place you're visiting to see what's available and what options you have.
"Even though restrictions are being eased, the message is that the virus isn't any less deadly or contagious, it just means we have to live with it."
Not only will the news be incredible for people who have been gagging to travel outside the confines of their suburb, but also for small businesses who depend on regional tourism.
Tour operators, hotels, Airbnbs, excursions and myriad other enterprises will seriously benefit from having people allowed to visit parts of the state.
Ms Berejiklian has also been calling on her northern counterpart to relax border restrictions so that people might be able to travel to Queensland and other states or territories that shut off from the rest of Australia.
She told Sky News on Sunday: "I've been quietly having a jibe at all of my state colleagues who have their borders shut.
Please be extra careful as we ease some restrictions in NSW today. Maintain good hand hygiene, practise social distancing and if you're unwell, get tested and stay home. More info: https://t.co/ka9q1ClOKn and 13 77 88 pic.twitter.com/huxmd1YIow
- Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) May 15, 2020
"NSW didn't, Victoria didn't. We appreciate that the key to our economic success will be to improve our supply chains and our manufacturing base amongst Australia so you do need to get those borders open as soon as possible in my view.
"But imagine if we actually had more of our 25 million population visiting places around Australia, I mean that is enormous potential, and the sooner we can do that the better in a safe way."
"I don't want to be able to say to people I'm allowed to go to Auckland before I can go to Brisbane or before I can go to Perth."
But Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made no apologies for trying to keep residents in her state safe.
"It would be absolutely negligent of me to lift those restrictions with community transmission happening in New South Wales and Victoria," she said in reply.
Ms Palaszczuk added that her state's borders could stay closed until September.
Speaking with the ABC, the Premier said: "I would say things would look more positive towards September. Having said that, I don't want to rule anything out.
"I will give you that advice at the end of May as quickly as possible. It's not my decision. It's based on expert health advice."
The advice and rules will be constantly reviewed by state authorities so the borders could be opened up earlier if the advice states that the risk of community transmissions is low.
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