Families and friends forced apart due to the Queensland border closure have found a clever way to reunite without breaking any rules.
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to evade her decision to keep the border closed to Sydney’s more than five million residents.
However, New South Wales residents who have been outside Sydney for at least 14 days will be able to travel freely to and from Queensland without quarantine as of 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The same travel bubble already exists for 41 postcodes from five NSW counties near the Queensland border, including Byron Bay, Lismore and Ballina.
Fed up Sydney residents waiting to be admitted to Queensland flock to Byron Bay and Kingscliff to hang out with loved ones from the Sunshine State.
Residents from all other states – with the exception of Victoria – can travel to Queensland without quarantine as they do not come from “COVID-19 hotspots”.
Lots of residents flocked to Byron Bay and Kingscliff to hang out with loved ones from the Sunshine State (Image: A group sunbathing in Byron Bay).
Ballina-Byron airport manager Julie Stewart said she’s seen families take advantage of the rules (Image: Friends and families watch a Jetstar flight land near Byron).
HOW SYDNEYSIDER CAN BEAT THE QLD BORDER CLOSURE
Queensland is extending its travel bubble with NSW starting Tuesday.
NSW residents who have been outside Sydney for at least 14 days can travel “freely” to and from Queensland without quarantine.
The travel bubble, which already exists for 41 postcodes from five NSW boroughs near the Queensland border including Byron Bay, will enable QLD residents to reunite with Sydneysiders.
Sydneysiders flocked to travel zip codes to hang out with friends from the Sunshine State.
Since Byron Bay is part of NSW’s border zone, residents can return to Queensland via the road.
Residents from all other states – with the exception of Victoria – are allowed to enter Queensland without quarantine.
Queensland residents can travel to NSW without quarantining themselves upon return.
Travelers still need to apply for a border pass to travel to Queensland.
Ballina-Byron’s airport manager Julie Stewart said many people took advantage of the travel bubble by flocking to the beach town to meet friends across the border.
“We are becoming a reunification center with people flying in from Sydney and parents or relatives from Queensland coming to meet in the center,” she told the Daily Telegraph.
Sydneysiders also opted to work in Byron Bay for two weeks before crossing the border so as not to be forced into quarantine, she said.
Since the travel bubble extends to regional NSW with the exception of Greater Sydney, further reunions could be planned.
The Queensland election result on Saturday secured Labor a third term in office with a five percent increase largely due to Ms. Palaszczuk’s consistent and uncompromising stance on the coronavirus.
When asked at a media conference on Sunday whether Queensland’s border policy would change, Ms. Palaszczuk said she would follow advice from Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.
“I’ve been completely consistent on this,” she said. “We will do everything that Dr. Young and her health advice to keep the Queenslanders safe. “
The Queensland tourism industry has suffered badly from international and interstate border closings, but there is hope that domestic tourism from states without coronavirus can help make up for the losses.
The Queensland election result on Saturday secured Labor a third term in office with a five percent increase largely due to Ms. Palaszczuk’s consistent and uncompromising stance on the coronavirus
If you travel to Byron Bay, you can cross the road back to Queensland without quarantine
“I realize there are a lot of people who voted for Labor for the first time … I know this was a very tough call for a lot of people, but a lot of people stopped me on the street and they said,” Thank you, that you protected us. “
“I also acknowledge that people have lost their jobs and now it is time to get back to work and make sure we implement our economic plan because we also have regional plans.”
Queensland will review its border rules later this month. Victoria will remain closed to the state indefinitely.
In order for Sydneysiders to be able to cross the border without a 14-day quarantine, they must prevent the virus from being transmitted through the community.
Dr. Young told ABC Friday that there had been cases of broadcasts from unknown sources in four local government areas in the greater Sydney area.
The border could be open until Christmas, she said.
“Anything could happen, but there’s a good chance we’re going to be open because NSW is getting a handle on these cases,” she said.
Byron Bay has become one of the top destinations in NSW during the pandemic (Image: Swimmers enter the water at Wategos Beach in Byron Bay)
Queensland will review its border rules later this month (Image: Swimmers enter the water at Wategos Beach)
Ms. Palaszczuk said Queensland only had one new case of coronavirus and five active cases on Sunday for the total of 1,172.
NSW Health reported no new locally transmitted cases on Saturday, but found four cases among outbound travelers in hotel quarantine, bringing the total active cases to 73 and the total to 4,236.
Victoria now has fewer active cases than NSW at 61. The state didn’t report any new cases on Saturday or Sunday and left its pandemic unchanged at 20,346 overall.
Ms. Palaszczuk had previously come under fire for pursuing an elimination strategy for the virus rather than the suppression strategy advocated by the federal coalition and the NSW Liberal Party.
On Sunday, confirmed by the poll results, she said there can be no economy unless the virus is controlled first.
“What is happening around the world is they are getting banned,” she said.
“If you go into lockdown, there is no economy.”
“We are the envy of the world at the moment and I want it to stay that way.”
Ms. Palaszczuk will not be sworn in until all votes have been counted and the polls officially declared, which is expected later this week.
After Parliament was sworn in, Ms. Palaszczuk said she would immediately allocate the state budget so that it would be ready before Christmas.
Australia’s border restrictions have been a hot topic in politics in recent months, and heads of state have come under fire for their strict rules.
However, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline and health officials get a grip on contact tracing, some states are starting to relax the rules.
Western Australia will introduce a “controlled border regime” on November 14th, which will allow travelers from areas with no local coronavirus cases to enter the state for 28 days without quarantine.
The rule currently applies everywhere except NSW and Victoria.
AUSTRALIA’S BORDER RESTRICTIONS:
NEW SOUTH WHALES: Exemption required if you are from Victoria. All other states allowed
VICTORIA: No restrictions, but not allowed in most states
QUEENSLAND: Exemption required if you are from Victoria or Greater Sydney. Open to regional NSW from November 3rd. All other states allowed.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Exemption required if you are from Victoria. Open to all other states
TASMANIA: Opens for NSW on November 2nd. Exemption required if you are from Victoria. Other states are allowed.
WEST AUSTRALIA: Starting November 14th, everyone except residents of NSW and Victoria will be allowed to self-quarantine
ACT: Exemption required if you are from Victoria. All others are allowed.
NORTHERN AREA: Victorians must be quarantined at their own expense. All others are allowed.
AUSTRALIA: Only people who have been in New Zealand for 14 days can enter without hotel quarantine. Australians and permanent residents must be quarantined in hotels. Other foreigners are only allowed in exceptional cases.
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