Queensland Premier Warns State Border Might Not Be Open Until September
As states and territories slowly come out of the coronavirus pandemic, many leaders are easing restrictions on where people can go and what people can do.
While it means many of us can enjoy a meal at a restaurant and a short road trip to ease boredom, it doesn't mean that life returns to normal.
Queensland's Premier has warned the state borders could stay closed until at least September.
The Sunshine State is one of several Aussie states and territories that introduced border restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. People only with a valid reason for entering would be allowed in and they would still have to quarantine for two weeks.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has been asked when that policy will be relaxed so that people can soak up some domestic tourism and see loved ones.
Speaking with the ABC, the Premier said: "I would say things would look more positive towards September. Having said that, I don't want to rule anything out.
"I will give you that advice at the end of May as quickly as possible. It's not my decision. It's based on expert health advice."
The advice and rules will be constantly reviewed by state authorities so the borders could be opened up earlier if the advice states that the risk of community transmissions is low.
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Ms Palaszczuk warned that each state and territory has the right not to accept Queenslanders if they wanted to travel outside their state.
"They may say -- no, we don't want Queensland at the moment. But look, at the end of the day, I really hope that we see an Australia where people can travel freely once again through all of our borders because that's the way that we work best together," she said.
"But we're just in this unusual circumstance at the moment that no-one wants to be in."
She was asked by her southern counterpart, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, whether the borders could be opened up sooner.
"I've been quietly having a jibe at all of my state colleagues who have their borders shut," she said on Sunday.
"NSW didn't, Victoria didn't. We appreciate that the key to our economic success will be to improve our supply chains and our manufacturing base amongst Australia so you do need to get those borders open as soon as possible in my view."
"But imagine if we actually had more of our 25 million population visiting places around Australia, I mean that is enormous potential, and the sooner we can do that the better in a safe way."
"I don't want to be able to say to people I'm allowed to go to Auckland before I can go to Brisbane or before I can go to Perth."
We'll have to wait and see if and when the borders open up.
Featured Image Credit: Brisbane City Council (Flickr)