There's a good chance the NSW-Qld border reopening won't take place as planned, thanks to new COVID cases in NSW.
Damn. Just when we thought it might be looking like Queensland was only a few weeks away from opening its borders to New South Wales, it now seems like that might not actually be the case.
In case you missed it, Queensland had announced it will open its borders to NSW as soon as it had gone 28 consecutive days with no community-transmitted coronavirus cases.
NSW had gone 12 days without any community transmission up until Tuesday night, when it recorded three mystery cases. Qld gave NSW health officials just 48 hours to trace their sources, news.com.au reports. Officials currently still have 24 hours left on the "border clock" (ain't 2020 fun?).
“If the New South Wales Premier is on high alert about those cases, I’m on high alert,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a presser. “We are not ruling out anything at the moment. There’s another 24 hours for them to look at where those cases came from. We hope NSW gets on top of those cases very quickly.”
Should the 28-day streak get reset, the earliest NSW residents can expect to get to Qld is November 4 – and that’s only if there are no other new cases before then.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian hit back (of course). In a chat on Channel 9’s Today, she said: “I’m not going to waste my time trying to change what is clearly a predetermined position. Because they keep changing the rules on us.”
Gladys continued: “The Queensland government keeps changing the goalposts. I’ve never heard of this rule where you can have two days to make sure you link your cases to an existing case. I mean, that’s just something they plucked out of, I don’t know where. I’ve heard that advice before.”
In a separate interview on 2GB, she added that she thought the Qld govt were “really just thinking up every excuse it can” and that she doesn’t think “that’s acceptable”.
Currently, Qld is only open to visitors from northern NSW areas, including Ballina, Byron Bay and Lismore. All other NSW travellers to Qld have to pay for their own mandatory 14-day quarantine.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
Main Image Credit: Caleb Russell on Unsplash