No border relief for Bathurst internationals just yet

Greg Murphy (left) and Richie Stanaway (right)

Fully-vaccinated foreigners may not be able to skip quarantine in New South Wales from next month after all, based on comments from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The NSW Government announced this morning that anyone who is full-vaccinated and tests negative to COVID-19 would be able to enter the state without any form of quarantine from the start of November, a boost for the Repco Bathurst 1000 and next year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

This afternoon, the Prime Minister was non-committal about how that would apply to those who are not residents/citizens of Australia, but stressed that it is the Commonwealth Government which issues visas to such people.

Dick Johnson Racing had reaffirmed that Scott McLaughlin will not be contesting the Great Race anyway, but the latest development again complicates travel arrangements for the Boost Mobile-backed Erebus Motorsport wildcard to be driven by Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway.

Boost’s Peter Adderton had previously floated the possibility of a charter flight to get the New Zealanders to Australia, which may yet have to come to pass.

The latest travel development also potentially makes for a longer wait in terms of confirming whether or not European-based factory drivers would be made available for the Bathurst 12 Hour, although that event has been provisionally scheduled for March 18-20 in 2022 instead of its usual early-February date.

“I’ve advised the Premiers and Chief Ministers … that this is about Australian residents and citizens first,” said Prime Minister Morrison this afternoon.

“The Commonwealth Government has made no decision to allow other visa holders – skilled visa holders, student visa holders, international visitors travelling under an ETA [Electronic Travel Authority] or other international visiting visa arrangement – to come into Australia under these arrangements.

“They are decisions for the Commonwealth Government, as the Premier [NSW’s Dominic Perrottet] and I know, but where we’re in a position to make that decision down the track, then obviously in NSW they’ll be able to do so if they’re vaccinated, without having to quarantine.”

In other border news, Victoria will allow relatively free movement into the state from New South Wales for fully-vaccinated persons from next week, representing positive news particularly for support categories which have events coming up in Sydney and Bathurst.

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