Queensland will proceed with its plan to reopen the state’s border on 10 July to travellers from all Australian states and territories except Victoria. It comes as the Victorian government announces lockdowns of 10 Melbourne postcodes for four weeks, starting from tonight, following a localised COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, Queensland will not allow even its own residents to return from Victoria from this Friday, unless they agree to be quarantined at a government-chosen hotel for two weeks at their own expense. Those arriving in Queensland will need to complete an online declaration saying they haven’t been in Victoria, and there are $4,000 fines for a false declaration.
Meanwhile, South Australia has pushed back its planned 20 July full reopening of its state border due to the current issues in Victoria. The SA border is already open to travellers from WA, QLD, TAS and NT, and the state is currently considering whether to also open up to NSW and ACT in the near future – which would leave just Victorians denied entry to South Australia without undergoing 14 days of isolation.
The Northern Territory still plans to open its borders on 17 July, but says that anyone arriving from a coronavirus hotspot would be required to self-isolate for 14 days at their own expense. This is unlikely to affect entire states, but rather local government areas and postcodes (such as the current 10 postcodes in Melbourne) that have been declared hotspots by their local state governments. Until 31 July, arrivals into NT will be required to complete a pre-arrival border crossing application form.
Tasmania does not plan to reopen its borders until at least 24 July – although that could be pushed back further, based on health advice at the time.
Western Australia could be the last state to reopen. The WA government has now shelved plans for an 8 August restart and made it clear it won’t change its stance until all other states have brought the virus under control.
NSW, ACT and Victoria have never closed their state borders.
As domestic travel restrictions ease, Qantas will begin reopening its domestic airport lounges from today.
Flights diverted away from Melbourne
Meanwhile, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has asked for international flights to be diverted away from Victoria for the next two weeks as the state investigates lapses in security at hotel quarantine facilities. Some of the current Victorian outbreaks have been linked back to hotel security staff.
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