Queensland Will Reopen Its Border to All Aussie States and Territories Except Victoria from July 10
"Due to current community transmission levels, the border with Victoria will remain closed — and will be strengthened."
Just a few short months ago, no one could've predicted that the Queensland border would become one of 2020's most debated topics. It's a subject that has inspired plenty of comments, especially among interstate and federal politicians calling for Queensland to open back up — with the state closing its border to help stem the spread of COVID-19, then keeping it shut while other restrictions have been easing.
Today, Tuesday, June 30, that chatter can finally stop — with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirming Friday, July 10 as Queensland's official date for reopening to interstate visitors from all states and territories except Victoria. That date was initially outlined in Queensland's COVID-19 roadmap, and discussed earlier in June, with a final call on opening up the border always expected at the end of this month.
That's great news for folks who live in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, of course — however, with coronavirus case numbers spiking in Victoria over the past couple of weeks, residents of that state won't be allowed into Queensland as yet. In fact, as Premier Palaszczuk announced, "Queensland has very large concerns about the state of Victoria", which means that, "due to current community transmission levels, the border with Victoria will remain closed — and will be strengthened".
A week prior to the Queensland border opening to all other areas of the country, the state will implement a new regime for visitors from Victoria — to come into effect from noon on Friday, July 3. Anyone travelling from Victoria, including Queenslanders, will be refused entry unless they go into forced quarantine for 14 days, in a hotel, at their own expense.
Folks coming to Queensland from other states from July 10 will also need to complete a border declaration form. On it, they'll need to certify that they haven't travelled to Victoria in past 14 days — and the government has advised it'll be checking these statements, and that making a false statement will be an offence.
Also, while Victoria has been singled out at present due to its COVID-19 situation, Queensland will review its border position with other states should outbreaks occur elsewhere. The aim is to avoid community transmission in Queensland, with Premier Palaszczuk noting that "if the Chief Health Officer reviews any state or territory at any time, and there is community transmission like Victoria, we may have to take action".
If you're a Queenslander hoping to hop over the border for a mid-year holiday — and come back home without any hassle — the confirmation of July 10 as the official border reopening date is also a welcome development. That said, Premier Palaszczuk has urged all Queenslanders not to go to Victoria.
Queensland's announcement comes on the same day that South Australia revised its plans to open its borders, revealing that it won't open to Victorian residents on July 20 as initially advised — with details to come regarding NSW and ACT residents, and inhabitants of other states already allowed to enter SA.
To find out more about Queensland's COVID-19 restrictions, and the status of the coronavirus in the state, visit Queensland's online COVID-19 hub.
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: Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays by Tourism and Events Queensland.
Published on June 30, 2020 by Sarah Ward