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Regional Holidays within Queensland Will Be Allowed from June 12

Queenslanders will be able to travel up to 250 kilometres away from home, and stay overnight — while staying within the state.
By Sarah Ward
May 21, 2020
By Sarah Ward
May 21, 2020

Since Queensland's COVID-19 lockdown began in late March, dreaming of spending a night somewhere other than your own house — on a multi-day hiking adventure or a weekend in a luxe glamping resort, for example —  has become a regular part of pandemic life. Thankfully, before the June-July school holidays hit, that dream will become a reality, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirming that Queenslanders will be able to travel regionally — and stay overnight — from mid-June.

At her daily press conference on Thursday, May 21, the Premier advised that increasing the distance Queenslanders can travel within the state, and allowing them to holiday within the state, will indeed happen next month. "The June school holidays will be coming up very shortly, and of course, with our roadmap, it means that Queenslanders can travel up to 250 kilometres — and they can holiday in Queensland in their regional areas," she announced.

As the Premier noted, this was already on the cards as part of the state's "step-down approach to COVID-19"; with a date of June 12 set for the next stage of eased restrictions to come into effect. Confirming that the regional travel component of the roadmap will definitely happen means that folks can start making plans, however, which the Premier noted. "I really want to encourage everyone as much as possible to start planning those holidays and really back our tourism industry," she said.

The idea is to get Queenslanders travelling in Queensland to support the local tourism industry. As the Premier already revealed earlier this week, the state's border is unlikely to open soon, and possibly not until at least September — a move that's receiving continuing complaints from her New South Wales counterpart Gladys Berejiklian, as well as from members of the Federal Government, but is based on advice from Queensland Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeannette Young.

Discussing the highly publicised border issue today, Premier Palaszczuk noted that "there are 33 times the number of active cases in NSW compared to Queensland" — after after also announcing that Queensland recorded zero new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Dr Young explained Queensland's position further, advising that "there is plenty of health advice about the importance of minimising the number of cases coming in to a community". She continued, "we saw how effective it was for Australia when the international borders were closed. And then as we started to see in Queensland, the number of cases acquired interstate and then coming into Queensland, we immediately acted here, the Premier took that advice to act, and close the borders to other states. And, most of the states in our country also did that. So we saw Western Australia, we saw South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Queensland close their borders to those states that had significantly higher numbers of cases and local transmission."

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Hiking in Canungra Valley, Gold Coast via Matt Harvey for Tourism and Events Queensland

Published on May 21, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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