The Queensland border will open to interstate visitors from July 10, with one major exception: Victorians aren’t invited.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today confirmed the state will soon move to relax its coronavirus lockout, allowing folks from NSW, SA, ACT, Tasmania, WA, and the NT to visit once they verify where they’re coming from.
There’s a $4,000 fine in store for anyone who falsifies those documents, Palaszczuk said.
The decision to omit Victoria from the visitors list comes as the state battles a new spike in COVID-19 case numbers.
While Queensland has just two active cases of COVID-19, Victoria continues to record double-digit case growth.
“Let me state from the outset, Queensland has very large concerns about the state of Victoria,” Palaszczuk said.
“Due to the current community transmission levels, the border with Victoria will remain closed,” she added.
Punters from Victoria, or Queenslanders returning from the state, will be barred from entering unless they pay for their own two-week stints in hotel quarantine.
Changes are coming internally, too. QLD Health Minister Steven Miles said the state will move into Stage 3 lockdown restrictions this Friday, July 3, a full week earlier than expected.
This means up to 100 guests will be permitted at private functions, up from 20. Beers at the pub will come roaring back, and the 20-patron limit will be removed for hotels, restaurants, cafes, and other watering holes.
That said, bigger venues will need to provide four square metres per patron, dropping down to two square metres per patron for venues under 200 square metres.
It’s all big news for Queensland, which has come under criticism from its neighbours for its staunch border measures.
Hopefully Victoria can join in on the fun soon, too.Image: John Crux Photography / Getty Images