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Queensland Is Reopening Its Borders to All of NSW Except Greater Sydney From November 3

That includes 32 local government areas — and the state will also remain closed to Victoria, too.
By Sarah Ward
October 30, 2020
By Sarah Ward
October 30, 2020

It has been almost three months since Queensland closed its borders to Greater Sydney, making the Sunshine State off limits to residents of specific local government areas in the New South Wales capital. Over that period, the status of Queensland's borders has changed multiple times — as it has throughout much of 2020 — including shutting out all of NSW, then reopening to areas down to Byron Bay. But Sydneysiders won't be able to make the trip up north anytime soon.

Today, Friday, October 30, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queensland will remain closed to folks from 32 local government areas in Sydney. On the list: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-Ring-Gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, The Hills Shire, Waverley, Willoughby, Wollondilly, Woollahra and Sydney Harbour (Unincorporated).

The Queensland border will also remain shut to people in Victoria, covering the entire state.

In good news for NSW residents outside of Sydney, however — and for Queenslanders keen to head to parts of the state without quarantining upon their return — Premier Palaszczuk also revealed that the Sunshine State will open up to the rest of NSW come 1am on Tuesday, November 3.

The announcement arrives a day before Queensland's next state election, which takes place on Saturday, October 31. Back in August, Premier Palaszczuk had already noted that the state was unlikely to reopen its borders to Victoria and Sydney until there has been no community transmission in those areas, so today's news wasn't unexpected.

Going into detail about the decision, Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said "it is all about numbers. There are 4.8 million people who live in those 32 LGAs in Sydney. They are the risk, they are the ones moving around". She also noted that there have not been any cases in the past 28 days outside of those 32 LGAs, hence the move to open Queensland up to the rest of NSW.

If you're a Queenslander now keen on a southern getaway, you can do so by flying via Sydney airport at Mascot — and that isn't counted as entering one of the 32 LGAs. But you can only travel through the airport, flying in and then flying out to somewhere outside of Greater Sydney. If you go anywhere else in the city, the quarantine rules come into effect upon your return back north.

Whichever way you're heading — whether you're a NSW resident from outside of Greater Sydney who is keen to come to Queensland, or a resident of the latter eager to venture beyond the state's borders for a bit and then come home — you will still need a border pass. It isn't required to leave the state, but NSW folks will need one to enter and Queenslanders will need one to come back. To obtain a pass, you'll need to apply  online, with each one valid for seven days.

Regarding when Queensland might open to Greater Sydney, Dr Young said that she couldn't predict a date. "I genuinely do not know — it depends what happens with the virus. We are learning more and more about it every day. And what we are learning is that it is actually very contagious so we just have to look at the evidence, and I look at the evidence every single day, seven days a week, and work out what is the best advice."

For more information about Queensland's border policies, head to the Queensland Government website.

Published on October 30, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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