UPDATE @ 10.00am | The Queensland Premier has confirmed that the borders with New South Wales will partially re-open but Sydney will be left out.
Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday that Greater Sydney will remain closed to Queensland, excluded 32 Local Government areas from visiting the Sunshine State.
The rest of New South Wales will re-open to Queensland at 1am on November 3.
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Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said there were still cases of community transmission in parts of Sydney.
“I have reviewed the situation in New South Wales and prior to yesterday they had four LGA’s (Local Government Areas) in Sydney that had had cases of community transmission that New South Wales was unable to link to any known clusters,” Dr Young said.
“That means that they have transmission and they don’t know where it is coming from.
“New South Wales put out an alert for six different sites across the city where they were concerned that transmission could have occurred. So based on that new information yesterday and the information up to that point I believe it is important that Queensland remain closed to those 32 LGA’s in Sydney.
“Outside those 32 LGAs have not been any cases in the previous 28 days. So that is really good news and New South Wales has done exceptionally well.”
The rest of New South Wales, outside of Greater Sydney, will be able to travel into Queensland for any reason at all. Queenslanders will also be able to travel into those areas in New South Wales.
“Queenslanders will be able to travel down into New South Wales to those areas for any reason at all and they can travel via Sydney Airport at Mascot,” Dr Young said.
“They will need to then travel through Sydney without stopping in Sydney to get to those areas outside those 32 LGAs.”
The borders to Victoria will remain closed.
The changes will mean more dramas at the border checkpoints.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said everyone will need to update their border declaration passes.
“It’s very, very important that in the lead up to the 3rd of November at 1am that everyone that has currently got a border dec pass in play, be it an X pass or other passes, check what they should have,” the Deputy Commissioner said.
“It’s likely that will change.”
He admitted the changes will lead to further delays at the border checkpoints.
“We know particularly at the Gold Coast borders we will see congestion, we will see delays,” he said.
“Every time we have changes of the border declaration pass system we have seen delays and then within three days it starts to settle and get back to normal.
“That’s why it’s so important that people make sure they have the right passes upfront.”
There was one new case of COVID-19 in Queensland in the last 24 hours.
A man in his 50’s who is in hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast after returning from Stockholm is the latest to test positive.
He is now being admitted to the Gold Coast University Hospital.
It takes the number of active cases in Queensland to six.
MORE TO COME.
EARLIER @ 6.30am | It’s D-day for the future of Queensland’s borders, just one day out from the state election.
The Premier has confirmed that we will know by midday whether or not our borders will reopen to New South Wales, after she meets with the Chief Health Officer this morning.
The initial plan, as part of an updated roadmap to recovery released months ago, said that November 1 (this Sunday) would be the date.
However a number of locally acquired cases in Sydney has thrown that into doubt.
Queensland Health has repeatedly said that the key requirements for a full border reopening included New South Wales going two incubation periods without an unlinked case of community transmission.
Up until yesterday, New South Wales had only gone a couple of weeks at a time.
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has consistently criticised the bizarre time frame as completely unachievable.
There’s now talk that Queensland may just expand its border zone to include more areas of northern New South Wales, but be able to keep Sydneysiders out for now.
The uncertainty around the border reopening has frustrated many Gold Coast businesses in the tourism sector, who just want an opening date set in stone so they can better plan their recoveries.
Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was visiting the Gold Coast yesterday announcing a number of last minute election promises, but the Village Roadshow boss sensationally blocked her from visiting Movieworld and Seaworld.
CEO Clark Kirby told Newscorp it would be ‘reprehensible’ for him to walk around with a government that’s costing them thousands of jobs.