Qld govt to reopen border to NSW, Vic

Queensland will reopen its border to all residents of NSW on December 1 and expects to do the same for Victoria.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Tuesday after a briefing with Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

She says NSW has now gone 28 days without community transmission of coronavirus which means the border can reopen.

“Can I say to NSW we welcome you to Queensland from the first of December, we know how tough this has been on families. This is a great day, this is exciting news, and it has met the requirements that Dr Young has set,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

The premier said Queensland will also reopen to Victoria next Tuesday assuming the state surpasses the 28-day threshold on Wednesday.

Families and travellers from NSW and Victoria will no longer need border passes, allowing them to make their plans for the upcoming holiday season.

Ms Palaszczuk says the reopening will also give certainty to the airlines and tourism operators.

“It might be a little bit difficult getting some accommodation somewhere because of our successful campaign, a lot of tourism operators are saying that they are booked out,” she said.

“But we do want to encourage families to get together before Christmas, this has always been the aspiration of the national cabinet.

“And as I’ve always said, My number one priority is to keep Queenslanders safe. We always act on the advice of Dr Young and that is exactly what we have done today.”

However, a decision on border restrictions on Adelaide won’t be made until the end of this month.

Dr Young said more time needed to pass before a decision can be made on reopening Adelaide, where a cluster of 27 cases has emerged.

She pointed out that there was another case on Monday, eight days after the person had been exposed to the virus.

“So we just need to wait for a little bit longer before we can decide what needs to happen,” Dr Young said.

“All of their cases today have been linked, they’ve been able to trace them back to that breach in the hotel quarantine process so that that’s very good news.”

The chief health officer also called for anyone with any symptoms such as a cough, cold, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting to get tested.

Early testing will be crucial for identifying and containing any potential outbreaks as the borders reopen.

“That is so critical because if we find the first case in an outbreak we can get on top of it very, very quickly and not have to do all those close-downs that none of us wants to see,” Dr Young said.

“So please everyone just come forward if you have any symptoms – that is very, very important – and isolate yourself till you get the result.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said businesses, venues and patrons still need to continue to use check-in systems to support contact tracing.

The more people complied with mandatory check-in systems, the sooner intrastate restrictions on social distancing in venues can be eased. 

“You are frontline of defence now,” Ms D’Ath said.

“As a patron, as a Queenslander, please make sure when you’re going into these businesses that you are checking in your details.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles immediately made a pitch to NSW businesses to relocate to Queensland, which he said many had been considering during the pandemic.

“Now we know they can, now we know we want them to,” he said.

“So they can come here, create more jobs here because that is this government’s focus. 

“The foundation of our economic recovery plan was always the health response, and for now, we have that health response under control.”

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