There is an argument that managing Victoria's borders during this phase of the coronavirus pandemic is a "no-win situation" for the state government.
As has become evident over the past 12 months, the effects of the virus on public health and opinion are volatile.
The easing of mask rules and the changes to office staffing limits this weekend is a good example, given the most recent outbreak that drove stricter measures became apparent just a couple of weeks ago.
Premier Daniel Andrews has stressed for many months now that laws will change as guidance changes.
Border communities know all about those fluctuations, having endured a frustrating few months of checkpoints, permits and disruption.
National Party leader Peter Walsh argues here in our Opinion pages today for changes, saying the current system is confusing and unworkable.
There is a sense though that a majority of people have supported the use of state borders to restrict the spread of the virus.
"I understand the frustrations and the dislocation this is causing," health minister Martin Foley said this week.
"I apologise for the dislocation has caused, but I make no apology for the principle of keeping Victoria safe."
That principle is also being questioned when it comes to international arrivals.
Preparations for the Australian Open tennis tournament, which involves thousands of people, including hundreds from overseas, have prompted an obvious question: If tennis players can come here, why not make it easier for local people wanting to come home from overseas?
Victoria's experience of what can go wrong with hotel quarantine for returned travellers is enough to make anyone nervous about the potential for further problems.
But for the people affected, their families and friends, it is an awful situation to be cut off for such an extended period.
There should be sympathy for those caught up in the effects of the pandemic, but also for the decision-makers trying to balance public health with fairness.
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