Queensland border reopening in jeopardy

Aaron Bunch
·2-min read

Queensland's border reopening with NSW could be in jeopardy after the southern state recorded another mystery COVID-19 case and traces of the virus were found in sewage near Brisbane.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she'll take advice on Friday from chief health officer Jeannette Young, who is closely watching developments in NSW.

"I have to do what I have to do to keep Queenslanders safe," Ms Palaszczuk said on Thursday while campaigning for re-election on the Gold Coast.

"I am not diverting one step away from that, so we will listen to the health advice."

Ms Palaszczuk said she expected to meet Dr Young on Friday and would inform the public before midday.

November 1 was previously flagged for a potential reopening of the border between the two states, but only if NSW had control of the virus in the community.

Ms Palaszczuk doubled down on her warning during Wednesday's leader's debate that increasing the number of people coming into Queensland from overseas could stretch the state's ability to protect the community.

"It can cope now, but you cannot stretch hotel quarantine and you cannot go too quickly and too fast," she said.

She said the state's quarantine system could handle the current number of returning Australians but allowing international students to also come could be problematic.

"I am not going to put the lives of Queenslanders at risk," she said.

Asked when heath restrictions on the number of people in hospitality venues would be further eased, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said they were linked to the border reopening.

"There's a trade-off between border restrictions and local restrictions. If you are letting more people in, then you need to be cautious about social distancing," he said.

"So at this stage, there's no intention to ease those any further."

It comes as Queensland health officials on Thursday found traces of the virus during sewage testing at a treatment plant in Ipswich, west of Brisbane.

Dr Young said the result was concerning as it may indicate undetected COVID-19 cases in the community.

The Ipswich wastewater facility had recorded several weeks of negative results after a series of locally acquired cases known as the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre cluster were brought under control.

Queensland recorded no new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to Thursday morning.

Five cases remain active.