Queensland Has Declared Greater Melbourne a COVID-19 Hotspot and Closed Its Borders
Victoria currently has 20 active COVID-19 cases, including those linked to the new Holiday Inn cluster.
If you're a Queenslander with a trip to Melbourne in your future — or vice versa — the pandemic has just interrupted your plans. With the Victorian capital currently in day one of a snap five-day lockdown in attempt to contain the Holiday Inn COVID-19 cluster, the Sunshine State has declared the area a coronavirus hotspot. And, as a result, Queensland has closed its borders to the city.
The change was announced yesterday, Friday, February 12, and came into effect at 1am today, Saturday February 13. It specifically applies to Greater Melbourne, with 36 Local Government Areas in the region all now considered hotspots by the Queensland government.
Accordingly, folks who've been in Greater Melbourne are no longer be permitted to enter Queensland, unless they receive an exemption and then go into government quarantine for 14 days. The border will be closed for at least the next fortnight, and affects anyone who has been to Greater Melbourne in the past 14 days or since Tuesday, February 9 — whichever is shorter.
Noting that some folks from Melbourne will already be in Queensland — and some Queenslanders who've visited the city and then returned home recently, too — the state government is also asking anyone who has been to Greater Melbourne since Friday, February 5 to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive their results. And, if you've been to a venue named by the Victorian government as an exposure site, you're asked to get tested and then go into self-isolation for 14 days, regardless of whether you're showing any symptoms.
Queensland has brought back its Border Declaration Pass for anyone who has been in Victoria in the past fortnight, too, as announced earlier in the week. That also came back into effect at 1am today, Saturday, February 13.
Queensland joins the rest of the country's states and territories in introducing new requirements for Greater Melbourne residents and, in some cases, folks from all of Victoria as well. New South Wales has placed everyone returning from Victoria from Saturday, February 13 into the same five-day lockdown; Western Australia completely closed its border to anyone who has been in Victoria, effective 6pm on Friday, February 12; and South Australia also did the latter from 12.01am on Saturday, February 13. Tasmania has similarly shut its border to Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory requires non-residents to obtain an exemption and go into lockdown and the Northern Territory has brought back 14 days of quarantine for Victorian arrivals.
For more information about southeast Queensland's COVID-19 border restrictions, or about the status of COVID-19 in the state, visit the Qld COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website. For more information about COVID-19 in Victoria and the state's current restrictions, head over to the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on February 13, 2021 by Sarah Ward