As infections continue to climb in New South Wales, Queensland has opted to tighten its borders still further and ban entry to anyone from NSW and the ACT.
This will come into force as of 1am on Saturday 8 August and is a significant escalation of the state’s previous ban, which was only applicable to residents of Greater Sydney.
Listened to business community’s concerns
In a media briefing on Wednesday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she and disaster management authorities had listened to the concerns of the business community, who were afraid of the implications if there was a rapid rise in infections within the Sunshine State.
“Businesses have said to me loudly and clearly that they do not want to go backwards,” she stated.
“In New South Wales we are continuing to see cases each day and this is of great concern to Queensland,” the Premier said.
This is the right thing to do, Premier says
“I can now confirm that our Chief Health Officer is declaring New South Wales and the ACT a hot spot. This will take immediate effect from Saturday. This is the right thing to do. I know it’s going to be tough on Queenslanders. But your health comes first.”
NSW had 12 cases diagnosed in the previous 24 hours and 96 this week. In all, there are 3 631 active cases (as at 8pm on 4 August).
Queensland reported one new case of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s active cases to 11.
Don’t want to see a Victoria situation
Referring to the situation in Victoria, Palaszczuk emphasised that “we don’t want to see that happening here”.
“We need to protect not only our health; we need to protect the families, we need to protect our economy,” she said.
“I will not risk our economy. We have seen that Victoria is not getting better and we’re not going to wait for New South Wales to get worse.”
We are putting Queenslanders first
“Today is the day that I say to Queenslanders, we have listened to you. We are concerned about what is happening in the southern states. And today is the day that we say we are putting Queenslanders first.”
Palaszczuk told the media briefing that it would be a hard closure. With a limited number of exemptions for road freight or people living in the border areas, the road would otherwise be closed.