It’s been a long time coming and on Monday the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the Queensland borders will re-open to domestic hotspots from 1am, Monday December 13 which made for welcome news for our local tourism industry.
The Premier said nominating a time and a date provides certainty for everyone.
The original plan to open was set for December 17 however with a target of 80 per cent double vaxxed set to be reached earlier, the border opening date was brought forward.
“It is clear we will reach our target of 80 per cent fully vaccinated much sooner although exactly when is difficult to predict,” The Premier said.
Coolum Business and Tourism President Mark Cameron said the announcement was definitely a boost however questions still remained.
“The Queensland government has still not indicated how they will respond to the emergence of COVID in the community as we transition to living with the virus.
“It is inevitable as borders re-open that infection numbers in the state will rise and until more guidance is given there remains a great deal of uncertainty and travellers will not be confident to make forward bookings, and businesses will continue to grapple with planning for the future.”
Mr Cameron said that the announcement was welcome but a very small step on the road back to recovery and the President did acknowledge that opening the border to southern visitors was key to a successful local tourism sector.
“Southern visitors are a key part of the Sunshine Coast tourism calendar, helping to drive year-round visitation rather than travel just during the summer holiday period and it is with much anticipation that we look forward to being able to welcome our fellow Australians to Coolum once more.”
Local State MP Dan Purdie also welcomed the announcement.
“The earlier opening of the border is welcome news for our tourism and hospitality sector, particularly in Coolum.
“Since the start of this pandemic, our small businesses have been on the front line, and to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel is just what they need as we head into their peak season,” Mr Purdie stated.
As of 1 am, Monday, December 13:
Travellers from interstate hotspots can arrive by road or air and they must be fully vaccinated and they must provide a negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours and no quarantine is required for fully vaccinated arrivals. All travellers from hotspots must get a test on day five after their arrival
International arrivals must be fully vaccinated and return a negative covid test within 72 hours of departure and they will be required to get a test on arrival and they must go into home or hotel quarantine for 14 days.
The Premier said Queensland’s cautious approach had kept Queensland safe.
“We will live with COVID – but on our terms,” the Premier said.
“We must continue to protect the freedoms Queensland has enjoyed throughout the pandemic and the best way to do that is to continue getting vaccinated.”
Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath said it was a matter of when, not if, the virus began circulating more widely in Queensland.
“We know COVID is coming, we know case numbers will rise, but we can be as protected as possible by being fully vaccinated.
“Please make it a priority to protect yourself – the vaccine is safe, effective and free.
“We’ve always said as soon as we reach the 80 per cent target, we will open up Queensland’s borders to reunite families this festive season.
“Reaching the 80 per cent fully vaccinated target means our community is better protected to handle COVID-19 as it reaches further into the state.”
Minister D’Ath said from December 17 only fully vaccinated people will be permitted to enter pubs, clubs, cinemas, festivals and theme parks and visit vulnerable settings such as hospitals and aged care accommodation.