REVEALED: Date QLD will reopen border

 

Queensland's border is set to reopen on July 10 with Prime Minister Scott Morrison today forcing the issue at National Cabinet.

Mr Morrison - speaking after National Cabinet this afternoon - revealed Queensland had set a date in July before Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had a chance to officially announce it herself.

Soon after, her office confirmed to The Courier-Mail the border would reopen on July 10 pending a review of medical advice at the end of the month.

The July 10 date 'with conditions' leaves some uncertainty for tourism businesses and families wanting to plan, but it is the clearest indication so far that the borders will reopen.

The state is all but set to open to the rest of the country after being shut since late March, when the coronavirus pandemic in Australia was reaching its peak.

The date for reopening Queensland's borders has been set.
The date for reopening Queensland's borders has been set.

While Queensland families may only catch a few days of freedom before school returns, the opening will be in time for NSW and Victorian families to come to the sunshine state for holidays if the date passes the review.

"I welcome the decision, which I understand was made after National Cabinet today, by the Queensland Government, to nominate a date for the opening of that border in Queensland," Mr Morrison announced.

"We had a very open discussion about those issues today - the three step process is very clear. "It was a very constructive discussion. I anticipate states will be working through those decisions in the next few weeks and they'll come to their own conclusions but what is important is whatever date that is, that it is nominated as soon as possible because that will enable the travel, tourism and hospitality industry to plan for that time."

Queensland’s border has been closed since the peak of the pandemic. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Queensland’s border has been closed since the peak of the pandemic. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Ms Palaszczuk reaffirmed today to the National Cabinet that July 10 was the date set within its restriction roadmap for borders to reopen.

Ms Palaszczuk is understood to have told Mr Morrison that Queensland's existing roadmap indicated borders would be open from July 10.

But it will still be subject to a review of the medical advice at the end of June.

Ms Palaszczuk last month had indicated that the borders could remain closed until September. Yesterday she said that had been due to community spread of the virus within NSW, but she was "as one" with the Prime Minister on July.

While most other states have agreed to consider opening their borders some time within July, Mr Morrison said WA has yet to agree to this.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been under pressure to reopen the border. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been under pressure to reopen the border. (AAP Image/Darren England)

The Prime Minister said the easing of restrictions could continue even with some small numbers of new cases or outbreaks.

"It's important to note that, there being cases, and there being the odd outbreak here or there, is something that is anticipated and the system has been built to deal with," he said.

"But the emergence of cases is not something that will necessarily require the three-step process and the opening up of the economy to be halted."

But Mr Morrison said this was dependent on medical advice.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison put pressure on the Queensland government to reopen the state. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison put pressure on the Queensland government to reopen the state. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Mr Morrison took aim at Ms Palaszczuk over Queensland's border closure, saying the state must reopen by July for international travel to resume.

If follows him applying pressure to all states who are keeping their borders shut to other states during the pandemic.

 

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He said states needed to open their own internal borders before they can allow international students in.

"If you can't come to your state from Sydney, you can't open it to Singapore," he said.

The PM has flagged a huge easing of restrictions across Australia from July, with an increase in size of weddings, funerals, restaurants and other indoor gatherings alongside the return of crowds to the footy and some festivals.

Stadiums with capacity of 40,000 or less will be able to host up to 10,000 people and the question of whether larger stadiums could also have 10,000 fans in the stands will be looked at in coming weeks, Mr Morrison said.

He said that under a new "stage 3" of easing restrictions, the old 100 person cap on attendance at indoor gatherings will be scrapped and replaced with a four square metre rule.

The specific timing will be up to the states to decide, from whenever they move to stage three easing of restrictions.

Night clubs remains off the agenda, Mr Morrison said.

"We've seen overseas that has been one of the areas of failure, when night clubs have opened," he said.

 

Originally published as REVEALED: Date QLD will reopen border


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