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Infection-free for 19 days, Victoria sets up virus tests on SA border

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Victoria is setting up testing facilities at its border with South Australia, after it recorded its 19th-straight day of no new coronavirus cases and no deaths.

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As a coronavirus outbreak in Adelaide’s northern suburbs grows, the Victorian Government has urged South Australians to defer all non-essential travel to the state.

But Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said the Government did not consider it necessary to close the state’s border with South Australia yet.

“We are monitoring very closely the position in South Australia but at the moment our public health advice is that the South Australians are staying ahead of this,” Foley said.

“On that basis we see no reasons to close our borders and we look forward to a COVID-normal Christmas, so all Victorians and all Australians can share that special time with their family in a safe manner.”

Foley said COVID-19 testing facilities would be established at various points along the border with South Australia, to test truck drivers transporting freight.

“We’ll be establishing a freight testing facility just west of Nhill today, it will be operating tomorrow, and then we’ll roll out similar facilities across the border communities in coming days,” Foley said.

Truck drivers will be allowed to continue their journeys after undergoing a saliva test, and will have their samples fast-tracked for analysis.

Foley said the testing process would not cause significant delays for freight movement.

“That takes just a few minutes, between 5 and 10 minutes, it will be a slight disruption to the programs for freight movement but we’re working with the South Australians and the freight industry to keep that important trade route open,” he said.

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