Queensland sticks to 10 July border opening date, Victoria barred

30 June 2020, Written by Matt Ogg

Queensland sticks to 10 July border opening date, Victoria barred

Queensland will be open for visitors from all states and territories except Victoria as of 10 July, while this Friday small businesses will be allowed more patrons under a 2sqm rule.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has today delivered on her promised date to open up to the rest of the country, but high levels of community transmission in Victoria mean an exception had to be made for the state.

As of noon on 3 July, anyone travelling to Queensland from Victoria - including Queenslanders - will be prevented from entry unless they are willing to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine at their own expense. 

People arriving from other states or territories will also have to declare that they haven't been to Victoria in the past 14 days, and anyone who falsifies their document could face fines of up to $4,000.

"Queensland has very large concerns about the state of Victoria. There have been 250 cases in the past seven days - yesterday 75 and today 64. There is community transmission," Palaszczuk said.

"We just can't risk removing border restrictions for people coming from areas of Victoria right now."

"There's also one proviso here and I hope Queensland families will understand this - if the Chief Health Officer reviews any state or territory at any time and there is [sic] outbreaks of community transmission like Victoria, we may have to take further actions."

Premier Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Steven Miles also outlined the easings of various restrictions will take place on 3 July, bringing aspects of Stage 3 forward by a week:

  • Limits on private gatherings will increase from a maximum of 20 to 100 people. This means up to 100 guests will be allowed at weddings, funerals, house parties and fitness classes;
  • The reopening of contact community sport, with no limits on spectators outside although social distancing must be observed with 1.5 metres between household groups;
  • Small businesses under 200sqm size - such as cafes, pubs, restaurants, surf clubs and RSLs - will have a one person per 2 square metres, up to a maximum of 50 people. Drinks can be ordered at the bar;
  • For venues of a larger size, 20-person limits will be lifted and replaced with a one person per 4 square-metre rule;
  • A 50 per cent capacity or one person per 4 square-metre rule at concert venues and theatres;
  • A 50 per cent capacity or 25,000 limit - whichever is the lesser - at stadiums;
  • A reopening of casinos;
  • A reopening of food courts; and
  • Family households will be able to sit together in places of worship, with 1.5 metres between family groups.

Approved COVID Safe plans will be needed for contact indoor and outdoor community sport, as well as events of more than 10,000 people. 

The Premier emphasised today's decision was not taken lightly, with careful consideration from the Chief Health Officer and from government.

"We believe we have the balance right. We will do everything to preserve Queensland's good record at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our state - we are in a very good position at the moment but we know at any time anything could change.

"We have good systems in place and we must do everything we can to help Victoria during this time," she said, noting Queensland's chief health officer has travelled to Victoria to assist."

Deputy Premier Miles said there have only been nine new COVID-19 cases in Queensland since the state entered Stage 2 restrictions on 1 July, of which seven were from overseas and two were acquired interstate.

"That's in stark contrast of course to what we have seen recently in Victoria. Today they surpassed twice the number of total cases as we have had here in Queensland since the outbreak commenced," Miles said.

"They have had more locally acquired cases than Queensland has had in total; they've had more than six times the number of cases where the source of the infection could not be identified than we have had.

"They have more than 288 active cases right now compared to just two in Queensland and seven in New South Wales."

Miles emphasised Victoria was managing multiple outbreaks on multiple fronts, but there was "no interstate rivalry here".

"We're all in this together and we all need to work together. It's in all of our interests for us to suppress this virus across the country, including right now in Victoria," he said.

"We've now offered and sent our Deputy Chief Health Officer to Victoria to assist them. We are undertaking testing every single day of Victorian-taken samples. We have called today for expressions of interest for 14 nurses that we will deploy to Victoria to assist them.

"This virus does not respect state borders, and so we must enforce them. These new stricter rules will ensure that we contain the virus in Victoria our message to Queenslanders is please do not go there. Our message to Victorians is please do not come here until these outbreaks under control."

Updated at 2:16pm AEST on 30 June 2020.

 
Author: Matt Ogg

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