QLD relocation spike prompts two-week pause on interstate hotel quarantine arrivals

QLD relocation spike prompts two-week pause on interstate hotel quarantine arrivals

"We are scrambling for hotels, and this has got to stop. It's too much pressure so we have to put a pause," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

After recording no new COVID-19 cases overnight and declassifying the cases of two truck drivers whose status was under investigation, the Queensland Government is now taking steps to slow down the influx of Australians from locked-down areas relocating to the Sunshine State.

"Starting from noon today we are pausing arrivals into hotel quarantine for a period of two weeks," the Premier said.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said this meant anyone who is not already on a flight at midday will not be able to arrive in Queensland on a right of entry pass, although people with exemptions including compassionate or end-of-life reasons, or to attend funerals, will still have rooms made available.

"We are seeing a lot of people wanting to relocate to Queensland. We understand that, it’s a beautiful state, why wouldn’t you want to live here? But we just need a pause on that," D'Ath said.

"About 85 per cent of the people who have come under right of entry passes over the last two weeks of domestic travel are simply relocating to Queensland.

"Everybody who's got a right of entry pass who is a Queensland resident or is seeking to relocate will need to reapply for their pass, and over the next fortnight we will then issue passes but we will be allocating a time period that people will be able to arrive in Queensland."

The Premier said as of yesterday there were 5,114 people in hotel quarantine in Queensland across 22 hotels.

"That's a lot of people – 3,257 are domestic arrivals, 1,857 are from overseas," she said.

"Between August the 9th and 20th, 2,750 people got border passes to relocate to Queensland. That includes 1,983 people in just one week.

"International arrivals are sometimes double and we don't find out until the day, and we often don't know from day to day, how many people are coming into Queensland from other states – they just turn up."

There are currently 37 active cases in Queensland and the number of people still in home quarantine has been reduced to 762.

Updated at 10:41am AEST on 25 August 2021.

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