Queensland border to remain closed to Victorians

UPDATE: Queensland's border will remain closed to Victoria and strengthened from this Friday but will reopen to other states with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirming she has 'very big concerns' about community transmission across Melbourne.

Visitors from other states including NSW, SA, ACT, Tasmania and NT would be able to enter Queensland from July 10 after signing a border declaration form to declare that they had not recently visited Victoria.

But anyone who has travelled from Victoria, including Queenslanders, will be banned from entering or forced to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense.

Border patrols will continue to apply.

"We don't take these decisions lightly," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"They've been given careful consideration from the Chief Health Officer and the Government.

"We believe we have the balance right.

"We are in a really good position at the moment."

Queenslanders have been urged not to visit Victoria and Victorians should not come to the Sunshine State, said Deputy Premier Steven Miles.

Ms Palaszczuk this afternoon revealed the changes during a press conference at 2pm with Mr Miles where she also revealed Queensland would move to Stage 3 restrictions from Friday July 3 - one week early.

There will be no limits on spectators and caps on weddings will be lifted.

Small businesses under 100sqm, the 2sqm rule will now apply in a bid to boost the number of people visiting businesses.

Casinos will reopen.

Private gatherings will increase from 20 people to 100 people, for places like homes, weddings and funerals.

"That's all due to the tremendous work of Queenslanders," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Ms Palaszczuk said "more support" will be offered to Victoria to help suppress the virus and will deploy 40 nurses to the region.

It comes as the Leader of the Opposition, Deb Frecklington, calls for the border to reopen "from today".

It comes after she held meetings today with health officials and colleagues around whether to reopen the state's borders on July 10 and whether internal restrictions can be relaxed sooner than planned.

 

EARLIER: QUEENSLANDERS have copped a serve from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has accused people of bringing the virus south while the state keeps its own borders closed.

Ms Berejiklian said Queensland needed to open its borders and manage the virus like NSW was successfully doing.

The comments come as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk holds meetings today with health officials and colleagues around whether to reopen the state's borders on July 10 and whether internal restrictions can be relaxed sooner than planned.

She is expected to hold a press conference at 2pm with Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles.

It's understood authorities are eagerly awaiting the latest news from Victorian authorities on how they are managing outbreaks there.

"I understand the Queensland Premier has something to say in the near future," she said.

"I encourage her to open her borders.

"New South Wales has demonstrated that you can have a COVID-safe environment."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Queensland should open the border and deal with any COVID-19 transmission. Picture: Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Queensland should open the border and deal with any COVID-19 transmission. Picture: Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

She said other states had to learn to live with the virus safely so as not to decimate jobs into the future.

"Ironically we've already had people from Queensland and WA bring the disease to New South Wales," she said.

"So we've already experienced that level of interstate transmission, if you like, and we've dealt with it."

 

South Australia has announced it will not go ahead with a July 20 opening, instead leaving their borders closed to Victoria, NSW and the ACT, but allowing travel from Queensland and other jurisdictions.

The state's Premier, Steven Marshall, said a decision had been made to "completely revise the date".

"We are very pleased with the way the ACT and NSW have been performing, so it is likely that we will set a date for the removal of the borders with the ACT and NSW, but we will now do that independently of that July 20th date," he said.

Ms Palaszczuk is expected to make an announcement on the border today.

Pressure from businesses that rely on interstate tourism to stay afloat has failed to push the state government to open borders sooner as Queensland's coronavirus case numbers dwindle.

The closure has been a point of frustration for border communities and industries desperate for customers and foot traffic after taking a hit during the global pandemic.

Ms Palaszczuk and her government have argued keeping the borders closed has kept Queenslanders safe, while the Liberal National Party wants them opened to stop businesses going under.

However, a surge of new locally acquired cases has put officials on edge, with Victorian health officials recording 75 new diagnoses on Monday.

It comes after dozens of new cases in the state in recent days.

By contrast Queensland has had just one positive test in the past nine days - a returned traveller from overseas.

 


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