In Australia, the reintroduction of internal borders is subject to debate

En Australie, la réouverture des frontières intérieures fait débat

BRISBANE | Australia, the issue of reopening the borders between the different States is the subject of a lively debate while the country has registered a sharp decline in cases of infection with the new coronavirus.

Several States, representing more than three-quarters of the huge island-continent, have closed at the end of march their borders to their fellow citizens in other parts of the country and are now refusing their re-opening.

As in Germany, the United States and India, the Territories and States of Australia have extensive powers.

Thus, in terms of the fight against the new coronavirus, they have made widely in the implementation of their own policy, ignoring sometimes the directives of Canberra.

While other countries are highly dependent on tourism such as Greece and Iceland are planning to re-open their doors to visitors from abroad, the Australia debate whether to allow them again to travel inside the country.

The people in favour of the re-opening claim that these restrictions have no medical basis, while the number of cases has declined.

They even go so far as to say that they are unconstitutional and that they are harmful to the economy, preventing a recovery in tourism and trade.

This debate highlights the dilemma that is facing the planet as a whole, as cities, regions or countries come out of the pandemic at different rates.

The issue has become political in Australia, where managers seek to exploit regional rivalries for political ends and to score points against States ruled by rival parties.

The premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk — leader of the centre left, candidate for re-election in a few months, has rejected calls for the reopening of the border from the New South Wales nearby.

“We will not receive lessons from the State the least effective of Australia”, she said on Thursday, underscoring the fact that this State must first put an end to any contamination within its population.

The New South Wales, which includes Sydney, represents more than 3 000 of the 7 000 cases of COVID-19 registered in the country and nearly half of the hundred people who succumbed to the virus.

But the number of new cases in the State fell to about two per day, and this led to the first minister of center-right Gladys Berejiklian to ask the reopening of the borders.

On Thursday, she said that it is “not logical at this stage to maintain these closures of the border for an extended period of time”

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