Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles has suggested the state’s borders could remain shut well into next month because of a feared second wave of coronavirus in Victoria.
Miles said the state will be closed until at least July 10, when the next easing of restrictions is triggered, although the reopening date may even stretch beyond that if Victoria cannot get on top of outbreaks.
Queensland’s borders have been effectively shut since late March to stymie the spread of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from China last year and causes the disease COVID-19.
“The last thing we want to do is lift the borders, have lots of people come here for school holidays, spread coronavirus in our state, and then force us to go backwards on restrictions,” Miles said.
“Clearly what’s happening in Victoria will be a matter we will need to take into account in those considerations.”
On Sunday, Victoria recorded another day of double-digit cases while Queensland again had no new positive test with just three active across the state.
The spike in CCP virus cases in Melbourne has prompted Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young to include all 31 Local Government Areas in Greater Melbourne as well as bordering areas of Murrindindi, Mitchell, Moorabool, Macedon Ranges and Greater Geelong.
It means Victorians can expect to spend two weeks in confinement if they do step foot in Queensland even as the state government next weekend welcomes crowds of 10,000 at major sporting venues.
However, opening up stadiums has been a much easier proposition for the Labor government.
Miles announced major sporting venues can have 25 percent capacity, up to 10,000 spectators, which includes the Broncos NRL clash with the Titans at Suncorp Stadium on June 27.
The decision to throw open the gates to thousands of fans comes after almost 2000 spectators watched the Lions defeat West Coast in an AFL clash at the Gabba on Saturday night and the Dragons beat the Titans at Suncorp Stadium.
“That trial of a small number of spectators has been very successful,” Miles said.
The increased capacity will also see an increase in employment, with up to 800 jobs opening up at Suncorp alone for the Broncos-Titans clash.
The Brisbane Lions host Adelaide at the Gabba next Sunday.
LNP opposition leader Deb Frecklington said Queensland businesses have suffered enough and state borders should be opened from July 1 to spare further pain.
She said there is no medical advice calling for border closures and the economy can no longer be suppressed when there are just three active cases across Queensland.
“I’m deeply concerned about people’s health and wellbeing…people are losing their jobs. The figures are terrifying,” Frecklington said on Sunday.
“We have flattened the curve. Now it’s time to reopen the economy.”
Miles labelled the call to open up borders on July 1 as “reckless.”
By Darren Cartwright