Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland’s border will reopen to New South Wales - except for the Greater Sydney area.  Here's why!
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland’s border will reopen to New South Wales - except for the Greater Sydney area. Here's why!

Why Sydney remains shut out of Queensland

Queensland will not open its borders to Sydneysiders on Sunday because it has not met tough requirements set by Qld for borders to reopen after the state recorded seven local coronavirus cases in the past four days, including one under investigation.

Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Friday, on the eve of the Queensland election, declaring that residents living within the 32 local government areas in Sydney will remain banned from entering the state.

The November 1 opening date will also be moved to November 3 for regional NSW residents.

The Queensland Premier has come under fire for months for her hardline border stance, with businesses and tourism operators - including those behind the theme parks - begging their leader to open the border ahead of summer.

The ongoing border spat between Ms Berejiklian and Ms Palaszczuk is likely to continue with the NSW Premier under the assumption the border bubble with expand for regional residents but Sydneysiders will still be blocked from entering the northern state.

A 'border bubble' was announced in late September to include Byron Bay, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Glen Innes and Ballina local government areas.

Weeks ago Ms Palaszczuk declared she would open the border to NSW on November 1 if there were no mystery cases in the state.

But that could be pushed back depending on health advice and case numbers.

Will she or won’t she? Annastacia Palaszczuk will make an announcement on borders on Friday.
Will she or won’t she? Annastacia Palaszczuk will make an announcement on borders on Friday.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young has repeatedly noted that NSW was expected to record no unlinked cases of community transmission for 28 days.

This requirement has not been met.

When mystery cases started popping up once again, with many in the city's southwest, the Queensland Premier said NSW had just 48 hours to determine the source of any mystery infections, while threatening to keep the border closed.

This poses a problem for NSW which announced four new local cases of the virus on Thursday. The original case remains under investigation while the other three infections are household contacts of that case.

Another community case was revealed by Ms Berejiklian on Friday, which is linked to a trampoline centre in Prestons where another positive case visited.

Health authorities in NSW, including chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant, have remained transparent and realistic about the fact the state is battling three known clusters.

One in Oran Park, another linked to a Lakemba GP and another outbreak relating to a private clinic in Liverpool.

Another concern is the fact one of Thursday's infections attended a popular F45 in Leppington 13 times while potentially infectious, sending dozens of gym goers into isolation.

But the NSW Premier remains adamant the border should open.

The Queensland border has been closed to NSW since early August. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
The Queensland border has been closed to NSW since early August. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

"We should be allowed to move around freely and safely," Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.

Scott Morrison has also urged the Queensland Premier to open her borders.

Speaking to 2GB's Ben Fordham, the Prime Minister said Ms Palaszczuk should make decisions based on health advice but be transparent about it.

"We can't stay stuck in neutral. We've got to 'gear up' again," he said.

Queensland recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, but the day before two were confirmed in hotel quarantine.

Here's a breakdown of the last week's worth of cases in NSW:

October 23: Zero local cases and seven in hotel quarantine

October 24: Zero local cases and five in hotel quarantine

October 25: Zero local cases and seven in hotel quarantine

October 26: One local case (linked to Oran Park) and three in hotel quarantine

October 27: Two local cases (linked to Oran Park) and 10 in hotel quarantine

October 28: One new local case (linked to Lakemba GP) and seven in hotel quarantine

October 29: Four new local cases (one mystery case - the other three are household contacts of that case) and one in hotel quarantine

One new case (linked to a trampoline centre where another positive case attended) was announced by Ms Berejiklian on Friday but it will be recorded in Saturday's numbers since the result came through after 8pm Thursday.

Originally published as Why Sydney remains shut out of Queensland


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