An article shared from the Daily Telegraph by Anna Caldwell, James O’Doherty and Georgia Clark, May 20, 2020
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says tourists from other states and territories are welcome to visit NSW, providing a boost to the state’s economy while others remain shut.
Regional travel within NSW will be permitted from June 1 while pubs clubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to at least double their patrons within a month.
“We are welcoming everybody to NSW (and) to Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We know that people from all around Australia will want to visit Sydney, and what Sydney has to offer, during this time and that will be welcome,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian said if other Premiers keep state borders shut, “it will hinder the nation” and put more jobs at risk.
“It will hinder our national economic growth and activity, there’s no doubt about that,” she said.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Premier Gladys Berejiklian is targeting a four-week deadline to boost patrons in dining venues as part of a push to save the industry, which is on its knees.
It comes as regional holidays will be allowed from next month to capitalise on regional tourism, even as the border to Queensland remains closed.
Ms Berejiklian told The Daily Telegraph in an interview the regions would be critical to the state’s economic return, and she saw a major market for tourism spending locally.
“Even if some states don’t let us travel there we’ll invite the other states here,” she said.
She noted that money previously spent on overseas travel would now be a new tourism market for NSW.
“If people are spending their dollars locally that has huge opportunities for us. The key is keeping people in jobs she said.”
Ms Berejiklian also revealed she and her senior team had closely discussed and considered a region-by-region approach to rolling back restrictions but ruled it out.
On the dining front, a piecemeal approach was also considered which would allow “pilot” openings of certain-sized venues, but this was also decided against.
“We discussed a regional approach as a team but I think economic activity flourishes across the state if there’s simplicity and statewide laws,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It’s difficult to police if you have restrictions like that and it doesn’t help generate economic activity”.
The news of easing restrictions comes as NSW recorded just four new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning – all from returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Ms Berejiklian said it was “good news” that there had been no community-to-community transmission.
“All four cases were people who were in quarantine and had come off planes,” she said.
The two new infections detected on Tuesday were also from returned travellers.