Destinations

Queensland to reopen borders to NSW (except for Sydney)

The Queensland government has announced it will open borders to NSW from 1am on 3 November, except for Sydney.

During a press conference this morning, State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state would remain closed to Victoria and the Greater Sydney area.

The decision comes as Queenslanders prepare to vote in the state election tomorrow.

Palaszczuk said the decision was based on the advice of the chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young who holds concerns about community transmission.

“I have reviewed the situation in NSW and prior to yesterday they had four LGAs [local government areas] in Sydney that had had cases of community transmission that NSW was unable to link to any known clusters, which means that they have transmission and they don’t know where it is coming from,” she said.

Residents of 32 (LGAs) in Sydney and those who have visited the area in the past 14 days will be banned from entering Queensland.

The Tourism and Transport Forum’s CEO Margy Osmond said the decision is a monumental missed chance.

“Delaying opening to regional NSW from the 1st to the 3rd of November and not opening to the 32 LGAs comprising Greater Sydney without any new date for that re-opening is yet another blow to a sector which in Queensland is bleeding $2.3 billion a month,” Osmond said.

“All Australians including Queenslanders want travel certainty and want to be able to plan to visit friends and family in the leadup to Christmas, in what ideally should be a busy summer travel period ahead.

“Our tourism, accommodation, aviation and events industries are hurting each and every single day that the bulk of this border remains closed.

“Safety is critical but numbers of COVID cases have become manageable and many states have shown that they can effectively manage the risk rather than the emergency.”

Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) chairman Graeme Samuel said the decision to keep Queensland’s borders closed to nearly five million Australians living in NSW had significant consequences; hurting businesses, the economy and families who continue to be separated.

“Australia’s domestic airlines have worked tirelessly since the start of this pandemic to support essential, COVID-safe travel, and manage risk on the basis of health and medical advice,” he said.

“Our members are simply perplexed, however, by the approach taken today which just extends the uncertainty for so many Australians.”

A Virgin Australia spokesperson said Queensland’s border announcement was disappointing news for many of its customers and team members who want to return to work, do business and reconnect with family and friends.

“Our decision to reintroduce Queensland services which were suspended as part of our response to COVID-19 is reliant on the Greater Sydney region reopening to Queensland,” the spokesperson said.

“The announcement by the Queensland government will allow us to increase frequencies between Brisbane and Newcastle from three times per week to six flights per week from 9 November.

“Virgin Australia will continue to monitor border restrictions and make any changes to our network as travel restrictions ease.”

Travel Weekly reported yesterday that Flight Centre Travel Group had made a second request for the medical advice that the Queensland government relied on when it closed the state’s border.

The new request, lodged by the company this week, focuses on the decision to close the Queensland border in August, just weeks after it reopened.

It follows an earlier document request made by FCTG on 9 June and related to the government’s initial border closure in March.

[PLEASE NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED SINCE PUBLISHING TO INCLUDE COMMENTARY BY A4ANZ.]


Featured image source: Facebook/Annastacia Palaszczuk

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

New report reveals the countries Aussies are most reluctant to visit now

by Huntley Mitchell

Are you finding some international destinations harder to sell than others right now? This new research might help explain why.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

New Zealand gets COVID scare after infected flight attendant’s shopping spree

The Air NZ crew member shopped at a petrol station, two supermarkets, a paint shop, a pharmacy and a pet shop over two days, which is more than Travel Weekly staff usually do in a month.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

APH continues to divest, offloading stake in Inspiring Vacations

The move follows Australian Pacific Holdings selling its cruise wholesaler brand to Helloworld in a bid to refocus its business.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Melbourne’s Rydges on Swanston to get a fresh start

It got plenty of unwanted attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the Melbourne hotel has a new owner and a new name picked out.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Swan Hellenic opts for experience with new expedition director

The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly not slowing the iconic cruise line’s rebirth, with a second appointment announcement in as many months.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas goes after top-tier members of other airline loyalty programs

Having tested the loyalty of its own customers in recent months with scenic flights, fully-stocked bar carts and athleisure wear, Qantas has turned its focus to those of rival carriers.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel Counsellors’ global conference goes virtual

While Travel Weekly didn’t get to party with Travel Counsellors staff at its annual event this year, we take comfort in knowing we were there in spirit every time a viewer swigged a cheeky wine.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

G Adventures already sees 400 per cent booking increase from Cyber Sale

The sale savvy folk over at G Adventures reckon now is the time for agents to capitalise on all this vaccine talk. Find out how here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Passenger plane strikes and kills bear while landing

Travel Weekly’s deputy editor had to make an impromptu Woolies run to get some extra tissues while writing this article. She also upset the office dog by cuddling him too tight upon learning about the incident.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Matthew Cameron-Smith talks domestic tourism, Indigenous experiences and his first 100 days at Voyages

The former head of AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys is no stranger to domestic travel, but domestic travel during a global pandemic is a whole new kettle of fish.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland to reopen its border to Victorians just in time for the Chrissy break

Queenslanders would be well advised to take cover, as we imagine waves of Victorians and NSW residents will be descending on the Sunshine State in the coming weeks.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

COVID-19 deniers threaten to boycott Qantas after Joyce’s vaccine revelation

by Ali Coulton

Anti-vaxxers, COVID-19 deniers and general conspiracy theorists are having an absolute field day following the news that Qantas passengers will need a COVID-19 vaccine to travel internationally.

Share

CommentComments