Saturday, 12 December 2020

Queensland opens borders to New Zealand

From today Queensland is opening its borders to New Zealand. From 1am this morning (Queensland time) New Zealanders will be able to travel into to our state without having to quarantine. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a tweet that more New Zealand citizens call Queensland home than any other Australian state. "With Kiwis able to travel to Queensland families can finally be reunited in time for Christmas." "I was advised by Dr Jeannette Young, our Chief Health Officer, that New Zealanders are welcome to come," the Premier said. "That's excellent news especially in the lead-up to Christmas and the holidays. "So fingers crossed that we'll see more New Zealanders coming across." Last month travellers from New Zealand were allowed to fly directly into Melbourne and explore Victoria without undergoing quarantine, though New Zealand is yet to allow quarantine-free travel with Australia. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is not putting a timeline on any trans-Tasman travel bubble, and said officials were still working through allowing Australians to come to this country without 14 days in managed isolation. "I've never put timelines on it, because of course people book their lives around it, they make plans around it. "So I want to make sure that whenever we do give that indication we have the certainty of firm dates attached." Ardern said Australia's state-by-state approach was making planning for a possible outbreak difficult. Palaszczuk said visitors from New Zealand would still need to quarantine on their return home. "We are hoping that eventually New Zealand will not have to do that … then there would be free-flowing movement between the two countries," she said. Australian residents are still banned from travelling overseas unless granted an exemption from the federal government. Three new cases of coronavirus were detected in hotel quarantine in Queensland yesterday, meaning 22 cases are currently considered active across the state. Like Australia, the NZ government has mandated a fortnight’s quarantine for all international arrivals, operating a 6,261-bed managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) regime with 32 hotels across the country. With high demand over summer there are no available rooms to book until February 15, meaning no release into the community until March 1.

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