In an update yesterday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queensland will reopen its borders as planned on July 10, though temporarily deny Victorian residents due to the continued spate of recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in Melbourne.
The Premier announced a reopening of Queensland’s borders to every state and territory except Victoria, which recorded 73 cases on Tuesday and has notched up over 250 cases in the past week.
From July 10, travellers arriving from Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and the ACT will only be allowed into the sunshine state after filling out a border declaration.
Any Victorians or Queenslanders returning from the state will be barred from entering unless they pay for their own two-week stints in hotel quarantine.
The news will have been music to the ears of Queensland’s travel and tourism operators who have been left in the dark and out of pocket since COVID-19 restrictions came in back in February.
Not to mention agents Australia wide who can now confidently book travel to the state with increased flights thanks to Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar all stepping up the number of daily flights to and from capital cities in July.
Speaking today in a press conference about the tourism sector, Ms Palaszczuk, said:
“Already four out of 10 Queenslanders are saying they are going to be holidaying here locally in Queensland, which is fantastic, and of course with our July 10 opening to other states and territories, except Victoria, we are already seeing people take bookings.
“It is never going to be exactly the same. We are in this post-COVID world. So the post-COVID world means until there is a vaccine we have to keep up with the social distancing. We never know when there could be a new case.
“So it is good for the economy. It is great for jobs. It’s absolutely great for businesses.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier
Despite Queensland missing out on the valuable Winter school holiday period this year, the good news was echoed by David Ryan, Chair of Visit Sunshine Coast who said:
“The decision to open the border with NSW will be really welcomed by the local industry because the situation was looking rather grim for many operators after the school holidays. This is when we normally receive considerable long-stay business – sometimes for up to a month or more – from interstate and New Zealand visitors, and while that will be difficult to reactivate in the short-term, the border announcement send the right signals for airlines to re-introduce direct flights to the Sunshine Coast, and for travellers to start making plans.
“This positive development should not obscure the fact that this has been one of the worst periods for Sunshine Coast tourism in recent decades and even with borders re-opened, recovery will be slow.”
Where will you go when the borders reopen? www.qld.gov.au
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