Queensland border opens to NSW and Victoria, but for how long?

Marco Green
November 26, 2020

"The aviation and tourism industries rely on a connected nation and we welcome the Queensland government's decision to reopen the state's borders to Victoria and New South Wales from December 1", Virgin Australia's General Manager Network and Revenue Management Russell Shaw said in a statement.

"I also hope we don't have a situation where the border with Queensland opens and shuts at a whim because we are going to get a case in NSW", she said.

Victoria has gone 26 days without recording a coronavirus case, while Tasmania's last case was more than 100 days ago.

Premier Palaszczuk has repeatedly stated that she would only open her state up to areas that have recorded a month without so-called community transmission.

Queensland's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ruled out the state joining a proposed trans-Tasman travel bubble.

Melbourne has been banned from Queensland since the state announced border control measures in March while Sydney had only a brief respite in July before being barred for a further four months.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, "this is news that many families have been waiting so long to hear" and "on behalf of tourism operators across all three states, we thank the Queensland Government and Premier Palaszczuk".

"The threshold will be that we will go to a hotspot regime, which is what we have done in the past", she said.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said authorities were carefully watching the recent outbreak in South Australia and would soon make a decision on that border.

"Since September we've seen a steady increase in passengers with the return of Adelaide and Darwin services as well as increases on Brisbane, Canberra and now Perth".

Additionally, the Queensland Premier announced yesterday that Sydneysiders will be able to visit the state again, after removing all border restriction for NSW.

Dr Young said Queenslanders need to remain vigilant with the influx of people expected.

"We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say, for worldwide travelers, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft", Chief Executive Alan Joyce told broadcaster Channel Nine.

Not surprisingly, tourism leaders reacted with sheer joy at the announcement to reopen the border to our biggest domestic tourism market.

Ardern said one of the issues - which she has also raised with her Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison - was trying to get more clarity around internal border (restrictions) within Australia.

"We look forward to welcoming Victorians back to Tasmania".

He said it was a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the return of the key Sydney and Melbourne markets for a "critical" Christmas holiday boom.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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