One new COVID-19 case as top doc casts doubt over Sept border reopening

Queensland has recorded one new case of COVID-19 as the State’s top doctor warns our borders may remain closed even beyond September.

A woman in her 70s tested positive yesterday after developing mild respiratory symptoms.

Officials say she had returned from India via Singapore two months ago, with contact tracing underway to determine where she contracted the virus.


“At this stage we’re not sure whether that is a persistent case, or whether she’s acquired it here. We think it’s most likely that she acquired the case in India, but we’ll now have to do a lot of work to work through that,” Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said on Wednesday.

The State’s total is now at 1058 however just 12 of those remain active.

It follows a record day of testing on Tuesday with 4886 people swabbed.

Meantime Dr Young has defended the prolonged closure of Queensland’s borders, insisting we have to “remain firm” despite growing calls to reopen the State.

The Government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 crisis had July as the likely date for interstate travel pending a review, with the Premier later flagging that September would be the more likely timeline.

The already struggling tourism industry has warned a prolonged border closure would seriously hamper efforts to rebound from the crisis and cost thousands more jobs.

Dr Young says while she’d like to give people some certainty, committing to a reopening date now would be “foolish”.

“I, of course, completely agree with the Premier that September is a far more realistic one so if the tourist industry wants a realistic scenario then they should be preparing for September,” Dr Young said.

“But I say to them that if everything went perfectly and it was possible that maybe, it could happen earlier, wouldn’t they also want to be prepared for that?”

However, she warned the reopening of the borders could easily be pushed even further out if things don’t go to plan.

“Having said that, I can’t even commit that September will be possible, it depends what happens between now and then and it depends on every single Queenslander because you have followed the most onerous restrictions possible, you have done such a fantastic job and that’s what’s got us to where we are.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is making no apologies, but says the border closure will be reviewed at the end of every month.

“Let’s be very clear, we’ve only just opened cafes to 10 people, I mean we’ve only just allowed our restrictions to ease, we have to make measured and responsible steps as we reopen our economy, recognising the health implications,” The Premier said.

Despite the uncertain future facing the tourism industry, Ms Palaszczuk insists it would always survive in Queensland.

“We have a robust industry, they are really hurting at the moment, I understand that, but I want to see Queenslanders supporting Queenslanders and in our roadmap it says very clearly, everything going well, fingers crossed that Queenslanders will be able to move right throughout Queensland.

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our premier is killing us – she has applied a handbreak to the economy. We are suffering more people die through suicide than we are via Coronavirus. I will not be voting Labour in this election for the first time ever.

The doctor can go hide in her bunker. She still gets paid, while most Queenslanders do not. The subsidies run out in September, but it doesn’t help if we haven’t been able to kick start our economy.
The point it that these idiots are try to make it so that we don’t get sick! The flu kills more people (who give a rat’s @$$ about infections. All that shows is that most people are healthy enough to fight it off.
Sunlight (which we get plenty of) kills the virus very quickly.
Instead of locking everyone down and killing tourism, they should instead put money towards services for vulnerable people.

I think Dr Young or Mrs Patmysak should take a drive through a border crossing to realize what a waste of resources they really are.
Anyone can get a pass or have a pass in their windscreen, there is no scrutinizing of the passes.
All the checkpoints do is inconvenience thousands of people every day and bore the crap out of the people who have to man them, 50 people at each one twiddling their thumbs is not preventing rona!

So one person every now and again coming or come from overseas is enough to warrant closing the state border. Pretty silly if you ask me.

Absolutely ridiculous we need to start opening up to see if we are going to cope be it now or September nothing is really going to change. Females in power playing a power game. They are both still getting their pay so of course it isn’t a worry to them. We the people who vote them in should stop their pay and give them $1500 a fortnight to live on. Enjoy the power as you won’t be there after the next election

Open the bloody border. We cannot have 0 cases every day without totally devastating the economy. Why did we increase our ICU beds to over 7,000 if we are shutting everything down. I live in Queensland but my passports is AUSTRALIAN – therefor I live in Australia, let me go where I wish.