Queensland to open to Sydneysiders on 1 December

Queensland to open to Sydneysiders on 1 December

Update: Since publication Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland will also reopen to Victorians from 1 December. Read more.

A long-awaited Queensland border opening to Sydney residents will soon be a reality after the State Government announced closures would be lifted from 1 December.

A 28-day streak without any unlinked cases in Greater Sydney gave the Sunshine State's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young the confidence to make today's call, just in time for the busy Christmas period.

Following Queensland's opening to the rest of New South Wales on 1 November, the latest update means no visitors from the neighbouring state will need to complete two weeks of quarantine, unless of course they have been in a hostpot area recently.

"New South Wales, we welcome you to Queensland from the 1st of December. We know how tough this has been on families; this is a great day, it's exciting news, and it has met the requirements that Dr Young has set," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Victorians may be able to travel to QLD in December too, with a decision on that border to be made tomorrow morning.

"Tomorrow is the day that Victoria will meet that threshold as well, so I will update everybody again tomorrow morning," the Premier said.

"I've advised also Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews that if they reach that 28 days tomorrow, then they too will be open on the 1st of December.

"We're in contact with the airlines - we know how important it is that the airlines are able to plan. People are able to plan for their holidays as well, and Queensland is good to go. We absolutely want to see our tourism industry continue to flourish and prosper."

Border restrictions with South Australia are still being considered as the Parafield cluster remains a concern to Dr Young.

The QLD border has been closed to Sydney since 1 August when cases of community transmission began reappearing in the NSW capital, making it a COVID-19 hotspot in the eyes of QLD's authorities.

QLD reported just one new case of COVID-19 today - a person in hotel quarantine. It has been 70 days since QLD reported a locally acquired case of the coronavirus.

"We are seeing more and more cases in hotel quarantine, and that's to be expected as we see the case numbers elsewhere in the world continue to rise," Dr Young said.

"The important thing to recognise is that this virus is circulating throughout the world, that the case numbers are increasing - we're very safe here because of our international border restrictions, but it could happen at any time.

"It was so unexpected when they got that case in South Australia, and their hospital system down there is to be commended that they picked up that case so quickly to present it to one of their emergency departments."

In order for Queensland to have that first line of defence by tracing the virus successfully, Dr Young reiterated the need for the public to be tested if they have any symptom, no matter where in the state they may be.

"Please just come forward and get tested...it is wonderful to see the large numbers of Queenslanders still coming forward. That is so critical, because if you find the first case in an outbreak, we can get on top of it very quickly and not have to do all those close-downs that no none of us want to see."

Updated at 10.54am AEDT on 24 November 2020.

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