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COVID-19: Border closure between New South Wales and Victoria

COVID-19: Border closure between New South Wales and Victoria

From midnight Tuesday 7 July, the border between New South Wales and Victoria is to be closed.

This action will spark a flurry of Qantas and Virgin flight cancellations, just when flights were set to increase.

COVID surge in Melbourne

The border closure was decided during a phone hook-up between Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier today (Monday 6 July). Victoria has been recording a spike in COVID-19 cases, especially in Melbourne over the last few days. Today, the number of cases shot up to 127, which has triggered the border closure.

The state government has previously locked down about 10 Melbourne postcodes including 9 multi-story public housing blocks.

Border complications

Either side of the NSW/Victoria state border lie the twin towns of Albury-Wodonga, which share cross border facilities. A permit system is being implemented to facilitate the movement of residents across the border.

Second busiest air corridor in the world shut down

The Sydney-Melbourne route is the second busiest air corridor in the world – that is, pre-COVID-19. That also means it is one of the worlds most lucrative. Shutting it down will be another severe blow to the income of the two domestic airline players, Qantas and the still in administration Virgin Australia.

a group of people in a restaurant
Qantas Melbourne Business lounge

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

If you are affected, then remember that with Qantas, if you booked since May 21st, you can make one change free of fees (except airfare price). If Qantas cancels your flight, then you can reschedule or request a refund – which you are entitled under Australia consumer law.

If you are booked on Virgin Australia, then you are best to read their cancellation and change advice in this COVID-19 era.

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