Visitors from Canberra will begin returning to the Gold Coast today, with Queensland’s border closure to the ACT now lifted.
Two direct flights will land here this afternoon, with flying now the only way for Canberra residents to enter the state.
However, they still have to declare that they haven’t been to a declared hot spot within the last 14 days.
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That means that NSW residents won’t be able to drive into the ACT and fly into Queensland.
Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler is reminding people that they have to tell the truth on their border passes, and stick to the rules.
“It will ask you a question – ‘have you been in a hotspot in the previous 14 days?’.
“So as of 1am, the ACT is not a hotspot, but of course, other parts of NSW are,” Superintendent Wheeler said.
It comes as further restrictions within Queensland are eased from today, following two weeks of no new community transmission cases.
All areas across the southeast now have their gathering limits back to 30 people from 10.
Visits to aged care facilities and hospitals can now return to normal as well.
While in a week’s time, border restrictions will change again, to allow more residents from NSW to come into Queensland.
From 1.00am on October 1, five more local government areas including Ballina, Byron Bay, Lismore, the Richmond Valley and Glen Innes will be able to apply for the locals border pass.
It will let them into Queensland for whatever reason without having to quarantine, and they will be able to travel anywhere within the state.
The border zone on the Queensland side will effectively be lifted for everyone within the bubble, but Queenslanders going into NSW will still have to stick to the southern boundary.
There are still some areas in northern New South Wales that have been excluded from this expansion.
The Mayor of Inverell is particularly puzzled, with half of his shire let into Queensland and the other half kept out, but there’s a hint that more areas could soon be added to the border bubble.
Queensland Health released a statement to myGC yesterday, that says they’re optimistic about a staged return to reopening the NSW border.
“These are difficult decisions made with the consideration of several factors including the number of cases, source of infection, and the general movement of people.
“The areas in the extended border zone are areas where there is a strong connection to Queensland through work, recreation or regular access to services such as health and education.
“We understand there will be some communities close to, but not immediately neighbouring, the border, that won’t fall into these border communities and may be inconvenienced by these restrictions.
“However, we know this is likely to be a staged process and are optimistic this announcement is just a first step on the road to recovery and progress for both states,” the statement reads.