Kiwis will be able to fly to Queensland from tomorrow after the state loosened its borders.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has just announced the change in policy.
Palaszczuk said today that the “great success story of Queensland” and that of New Zealand had resulted in the chief health officer’s surprise decision.
“Dr Jeannette Young advised me late last night that New Zealand is also good to go,” she said.
“So, visitors coming in from New Zealand from 1am tomorrow are welcome into Queensland.
“We are hoping that eventually, New Zealand will not have to hotel quarantine upon return, and then there would be free-flowing movement between the two.”
Despite today’s announcement by Palaszczuk, the Herald understands that a quarantine-free transtasman bubble before Christmas is off the cards and unlikely to be implemented before February at the earliest.
Palaszczuk had resisted opening the border to New Zealand last month, warning of the potential for “catastrophic” consequences.
“If Australia’s going to open up to Australia, the last thing we want to see, to put Australians at risk, is for a whole scale opening of our international borders — that would be catastrophic,” Palaszczuk said late last month.
Currently, Kiwi travellers are only able to travel to New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory without needing to quarantine for two weeks.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly stressed a cautious approach to the prospect of quarantine-free travel to Australia.
Palaszczuk last month ruled out the state joining a proposed transtasman travel bubble, warning of “catastrophic” consequences if Australia’s international borders were opened.
She has faced strong criticism of her strict approach to her own state’s border.
Though eventually announcing the state’s border would open to Victoria on December 1, Palaszczuk insisted at the time it was still too soon in the fight against coronavirus to commit to a transtasman bubble.
“I understand that AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principle Committee) has concerns about New Zealand at the moment so I think we have to be very cautious there as well,’ she told ABC radio last month.
– additional reporting: news.com.au
Source: Read Full Article