Queensland announces when it will open its borders

Queensland has released a coronavirus roadmap that outlines when it will open its borders to NSW residents.

The Queensland Government roadmap says visitors and returned travellers from NSW can enter Queensland without having to complete mandatory quarantine under its Stage 5 easing of restrictions from 1am on November 1.

The travellers will need to have a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass.

The government said it will only ease restrictions however, if community transmission is under control in NSW, including whether there have been any unlinked cases in the previous 28 days.

Pictured is  a sunny winter day with little surf on Noosa main beach.
NSW residents will be able to visit Queensland from November 1. Source: Getty

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Friday it was watching NSW “very carefully”.

“I’ve made it very clear that our borders have kept us safe. We are looking very closely at NSW and if they do not have any community transmission for 28 days, we said very clearly that at the end of the month we review plans, and that would mean there may be a possibility of opening up to NSW if there is no community transmission,” she said.

“But of course their health experts are also concerned about some undetected community transmission at the moment. They’re about to go into school holidays, so we’ll be watching that space very carefully.”

More rules relaxed for Queenslanders

Queensland’s Covid Safe Future roadmap tweeted by the premier also revealed the rules that were relaxed as of the start of this month.

Queenslanders can stand while eating and drinking at indoor and outdoor venues from 4pm Friday, and outdoor dining areas, beer gardens and theme parks can relax density requirements with one person per two-square-metres allowed.

The number of people who can attend outdoor events has also increased from 500 to 1000 while open air stadiums can increase the seated capacity from 50 per cent up to 75 per cent.

From November 1, gatherings of up to 40 people in homes and public spaces across Queensland will be allowed while 40 people will be able to dance at a wedding.

Under Stage 6, to come into effect from December 1, Queenslanders will be able to gather in groups of 50 in homes or in public spaces while the number of attendees at an outdoor event will increase to 1500. There will be unlimited dancing at weddings allowed.

The roadmap said Queensland would remain closed to Victoria until community transmission was under control.

Queensland criticised over strict border rules

Ms Palaszczuk has copped heavy criticism over her state’s border policies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month she was slammed after a Sydney family was asked to decide which of their four young children would say goodbye to their dying father in hospital across the border.

In August, she came under fire after a pregnant Ballina woman waiting to be granted an exemption for surgery at the Gold Coast lost an unborn twin.

In September, Ms Palaszczuk was grilled about the consistency and compassion of border rules designed to contain Covid-19 in southern states.

Ms Palaszczuk defended Queensland's hard border closure, saying she was taking the medical advice of the state's chief health officer, Jeannette Young.

"When it comes to individual cases, they need to refer the individuals to the exemptions unit. I don't make these decisions, they are made by clinicians," she said in parliament.

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