- Queensland is the latest state to officially confirm it will drop its hard border, allowing the region to reopen to both Sydney and Victoria
- The change will come into effect from December 1, however, Adelaide remains cut off from Queensland due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak
- Border checkpoints will also remain in place at the Queensland’s main roads, ports and airports though, in case another outbreak occurs
- The Premier also warned she will close Queensland’s borders again if another wave of COVID-19 infections begins
- The tourism sector has welcomed the news, with travel agents already recording a huge surge in the number of flights being booked
Queensland is the latest state to officially confirm it will drop its hard border restrictions and reopen in full to Victoria.
Additionally, the Queensland Premier announced yesterday that Sydneysiders will be able to visit the state again, after removing all border restriction for NSW.
The changes are set to come into effect on December 1 and come after Victoria managed to record no new cases of COVID-19 in 28 days.
“This is fantastic news, we had our fingers crossed and that makes the 28 days so Victorians can come to Queensland on December 1 and Queenslanders can go to Victoria,” Annastasia Palaszczuk explained.
The Premier said she expects NSW to hit the same zero-case milestone in the days leading up to the border reopening.
If it doesn’t, or if an outbreak occurs, the Queensland leader said she won’t hesitate to reintroduce border restrictions if necessary.
“We’ve had a High Court case which said very clearly that states do have the option to close borders to protect the health of their citizens,” she said.
“Let’s hope, fingers crossed, that that won’t happen, let’s absolutely hope that families can get together with families over this Christmas period,” she added.
In order to keep an eye on any potential outbreaks, the Government has asked that border checkpoints remain in place across Queensland’s ports, airports and major roads.
Additionally, the Queensland Premier hasn’t put a date on reopening the state’s border to South Australia after its recent COVID-19 outbreak.
The news of the reopening has still been welcomed by tourism operators though, who expect a boost in tourists heading to the Sunshine state.
Online travel agency business Flight Centre has already noticed an uptick in people booking flights, now that more borders are reopening.
“It happens immediately, people will travel immediately, they’re desperate to see friends, relatives,” CEO Graham Turner told ABC.
“It just shows you how quickly people will come back,” he added.