Lockdown a 'cruel blow' to Qld tourism

·2-min read

Struggling Queensland tourism businesses have been hit with a "cruel blow" of virus restrictions days out from the Easter holidays.

Thousands of businesses have already been hit by the end of the federal government's JobKeeper wage subsidy on Sunday.

Tourism businesses were hoping the Easter break would provide a much-needed boost after a year in the doldrums.

But Brisbane's three-day coronavirus lockdown, new restrictions on regional venues and quarantine requirements for people departing Queensland have left those hopes in tatters.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind says the lockdown could spell the end for some tourism operators.

"It's a cruel blow," he told AAP.

"Easter, we were looking forward to it as the recovery started.

"It's been a really, really tough year for the industry across the state, across the nation, and we certainly were hoping and planning for an Easter that would rebuild confidence and give a bit of cheer to the tourism operators who desperately need additional revenue."

Mr Gschwind said the lockdown would hit operators in the Brisbane region particularly hard.

All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close, including a number of tourist sites, and masks have been made mandatory.

Regional businesses are also dealing with new rules after known virus cases visited Gladstone and Gin Gin.

All patrons at venues outside Brisbane must be seated and wear masks under the new restrictions.

Western Australia will close its border to the entire state of Queensland from 6pm (WST) on Monday.

Tasmania has shut its border to Greater Brisbane travellers, while South Australia will do so from 4pm (CST) and Victoria from 6pm (AEDT).

Anyone from Greater Brisbane must isolate and get tested upon entering the Northern Territory and the ACT.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stressed that her state would not shut the border, but she has asked residents to reconsider Easter breaks north of the Tweed.

Travellers who have been to known exposure sites in Greater Brisbane must self-isolate and get tested upon arrival in NSW.

Mr Gschwind said tourism operators expect the uncertainty of the new quarantine rules to deter interstate visitors over Easter.

"The impact on consumer confidence is devastating," he said.

"And we expect significant cancellations, not just for Brisbane, but for other parts of Queensland as well unfortunately."

Queensland's Chamber of Commerce backed the 'circuit-breaker' measure but want government stimulus for businesses forced to close in declared hotspots.

"This could be similar to the disaster recovery arrangement that exists when environmental disasters hit our state, a diverse range of funding release measures including financial assistance," general manager of advocacy and policy, Amanda Rohan said.

Ms Rohan said the lockdown could contain virus spread and give businesses the best chance of reopening for the Easter holidays.