It’s officially the last day of border checkpoints on the Gold Coast, with Queensland set to roll out the welcome mat to Sydneysiders tomorrow.
From 1.00am Monday, Greater Sydney will no longer be classed as a declared COVID-19 hotspot, allowing free travel to the Sunshine State.
The mass operation to dismantle all of the Gold Coast’s five checkpoints will begin from 7.00pm tonight, however police have warned it is expected to take two days to complete.
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The M1 and Gold Coast Highway will be closed at different times of the night on Monday as authorities work to remove the concrete barriers.
While the checkpoints on the Gold Coast Highway, Griffith Street at Coolangatta, Miles Street at Kirra and Numinbah-Murwillumbah Road will also be packed down.
The commute is expected to be much smoother by 5.00am on Tuesday, when everything will be back to normal.
The border reopening is welcome news for our struggling tourism operators and accommodation providers, who have been among the hardest hit by the closure.
The industry is bracing for an influx of holiday bookings over the coming months, with some hotels already booked out since the border announcement was made last Thursday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the focus now is on getting people to explore and take a holiday in the Sunshine State, especially over the Easter holiday period.
“Opening the border to Greater Sydney could result in a $350 million tourism windfall alone,” the Premier said.
“That’s what 370,000 Sydneysiders spent in 2019, visiting Queensland for Easter.”
Data released this week by Tourism Research Australia revealed the true impact coronavirus had on the tourism industry last Easter, with spending down more than 80 percent in Queensland.
“The coming pick-up in holiday makers is very welcome news. And it’s a great opportunity for families and friends to get together again,” the Premier said.
“We know that regions largely reliant on tourism are continuing to do it tough, particularly with the international border still closed to overseas visitors.
“I want everyone to get out now and explore Queensland. There’s just so much to do here.”