End to NSW-Qld border stoush in sight

The border stoush between Queensland and NSW could soon be over, with an end date for restrictions announced as NSW records seven days without a single locally transmitted case of COVID-19.

Four new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday – all returned travellers in hotel quarantine, including one from Victoria.

In the past 10 days, the state has recorded only one new locally acquired case.

There were 11,343 tests reported in the latest 24 hour period, compared to 13,072, the previous day.

NSW’s streak of zero community transmission comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday announced NSW residents would soon be able to travel to the Sunshine State without quarantining, with the border set to reopen on November 1.

Ms Palaszczuk said the hard border will lift the day after Queenslanders head to the polls – provided NSW has had no mystery cases of COVID-19 in the 28 days prior.

The announcement follows months of tension between Ms Palaszczuk and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over the issue.

From Thursday residents in the Byron Shire, Ballina, the city of Lismore, Richmond Valley including Casino and Evans Head, Glen Innes and 41 other NSW postcodes were added to the Queensland-NSW border bubble.

For months people from NSW coming to Queensland from outside the old border bubble were required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

More than 2.7 million coronavirus tests have been undertaken across the state, NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said but the community must not become complacent and keep testing rates high.

“COVID-19 may still be circulating in the community and we must all be vigilant,” he said.

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