Australia

Queensland will reopen state borders on 10 July, but not to Victorians

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Source: AAP

Queensland and South Australia have announced changes to their planned lifting of border restrictions amid the surge in coronavirus cases in Victoria.

Queensland has announced it will keep its border closed to travellers from Victoria, but open it for people from all other states and territories from 10 July. 

It comes as Victoria announces it will reimpose stay-at-home orders in high-risk coronavirus areas amid a surge in new cases.

From 10 July, people from Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and the ACT will be allowed to enter Queensland after filling in a border declaration.

The border declaration is to ensure that no-one from those jurisdictions has travelled to Victoria in the 14 days before arriving in Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“My number one concern is to protect Queenslanders and Queensland families,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

From 3 July, anyone who has travelled to Queensland from Victoria will not be allowed entry or will have to pay for quarantine in a hotel at their own expense.

Ms Palaszczuk met with health officials and colleagues on Tuesday to discuss the border issue, which has been a point of frustration for some communities and industries desperate for customers and foot traffic after taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Palaszczuk and her Labor government have argued that keeping the borders closed has kept Queenslanders safe, while the Liberal National Party wants them opened to stop businesses going under.

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SA delays border plans

Meanwhile, South Australia has scrapped a plan to lift all its remaining border restrictions next month amid the spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria.

Premier Steven Marshall says the 20 July date to lift quarantine measures for Victoria, NSW and the ACT has been abandoned on the latest health advice.

He says the state may move separately on NSW and the ACT but can't make any move in relation to Victoria in the current circumstances.

"Our number one priority is the health, welfare and safety of all South Australians. At this stage we cannot lift that border (with Victoria) on the 20th July as we were hoping to do," the premier told reporters on Tuesday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reiterated her government is not currently contemplating a closure of the NSW-Victoria border.

But she warned NSW residents they are becoming lax on social distancing measures, with the threat of outbreak still elevated.

"Things can change very quickly in terms of the rate of community transmission.... I have noticed in and around my movements that people are starting to relax a little bit too much for my liking. Don't relax," Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

"Assume everybody in and around you has the disease."

Sports spectators trying to enter NSW stadiums from Wednesday are likely to be required to show their driver's licence to prove they're not from Victoria.

"They might sound like tough things to ask people to do but that's what will keep us safe in NSW and we certainly want to continue on the path we're on ... we have done extremely well," Ms Berejiklian said.

Two new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Western Australia on Tuesday, both overseas travellers.

A man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s returned to Perth this week from the UK and Pakistan, respectively.

Two other cases recovered overnight so there are currently four active cases in WA, all in hotel quarantine.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Additional reporting by AAP.

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