Canberra, May 26 (IANS) Australia’s Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham on Tuesday asked the state and territory governments to come up with clear pathways to remove their border restrictions.
The governments of some states and territories have resisted calls to ease their border closures, which were set in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reports Xinhua news agency.
Birmingham, minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, told in an interview on Channel 9’s Today Show on Tuesday morning that border closures were exacerbating the economic impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.
“I hope that the states and territories can come up with clear pathways to remove their border restrictions,” Birmingham said.
“Our tourism industry employs around one in 13 Australians.
“And now obviously, there are no international visitors coming in at present and if we continue to have the situation where interstate travel is limited as well, then it has a crippling effect on those small businesses and the jobs they generate,” he added.
There were a total of 7,118 COVID-19 cases in Australia, with 102 deaths, according to the Department of Health.
“We now have over five consecutive weeks of days in which the growth rate of new cases in Australia has been less than half a percent,” said Greg Hunt, minister for health, on Monday.