Just hours before Queenslanders went to the polls Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk announced that travel would be allowed between New South Wales and Queensland with the exception of greater Sydney from 1am 03NOV2020.
Despite opening up thousands of people to travel Daniel Cschwind, CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council seemed non-plussed advising that tourism business from Sydney was normally worth $3 billion a year.
If the cynics amongst us thought Palaszczuk was playing politics on the eve of an election she firmly denied it.
The Premier held firm about putting health concerns above economic ones.
“When you have a virus that is out of control your economy is locked down. There was one or two cases in Victoria, the virus got out of control and the whole state was locked down and we saw 700 deaths — I do not want to see 700 deaths in Queensland,” she said.
To read the ABC coverage it certainly seemed to indicate that the Qld Premier would get no boost from her decision with the QANTAS CEO and Tourism Vendors being asked to offer their two cents all of which was negative.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young was more concerned with stopping the spread of the disease.
“I have reviewed the situation in NSW and prior to yesterday they had four LGAs [local government areas] in Sydney that had had cases of community transmission that NSW was unable to link to any known clusters, which means that they have transmission and they don’t know where it is coming from,” she said.
People travelling from rural New South Wales into Queensland through Sydney would not be able to enter for 14 days. Queenslanders who landed in Sydney airport could travel onto rural New South Wales as long as they didn’t stop in Sydney.
When asked about opening up fully to the southern state Dr Young advised, “I will always give advice to make sure that Queenslanders are kept as safe as they can possibly be kept safe. Anything could happen, but also there’s a strong possibility that we’ll be open because NSW is getting on top of these cases,” she said.
“We have always said as a national cabinet we have an aspiration that families can be reunited around Christmas time, but once again anything can happen so we need to monitor community transmission,” Premier Palaszczuk advised.
That week there had been two positive sewerage tests of COVID-19 in Ipswich and Brisbane’s bay area urging Dr Young to tell people, “There is a concern, that we may have virus circulating and the best way to deal with that is to come forward and be tested.“
In Queensland on the 30th of October there had been 1,325 cases, 6 deaths, 1,421,147 tests carried out since the pandemic began. I was three of those tests. There were ten active cases in the state.
On the 3rd of November the World Health Organisation reported there had been 27,602 confirmed cases with a daily increase of seven. There had been 907 Australian deaths.
Wednesday Premier Gladys Berejiklian put her money with her mouth was and announced a plan to open the border with Victoria 1 minute past midnight on the 23rd of November, 2020.
Berejiklian has closed the borders to Victoria with great regret on the 8th of July.
“They may have, because of the lockdown, actually gone down a path of having eliminated it at this point in time. Come a minute past midnight on November 23, there will be free movement between NSW and Victoria,” Premier Berejiklian said.
There were nine new cases in New South Wales, three local and six in hotel quarantine having returned from overseas. More than 17,000 tests were carried out in the state.
The Australian Capital Territory followed suit with NSW in regards to Victoria.
“Waiting a full two weeks before making changes will allow enough time for ACT Health to assess the impact of restrictions and ensures the ACT is consistent with NSW,” ACT Health Minister Rachel-Stephen Smith said.
“The Premier of NSW wouldn’t be opening her border if she didn’t have confidence Victorians could maintain the low numbers,” advised Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
On the 4th of November the World Health Organisation reported there had been 27,610 confirmed cases with a daily increase of eight. The death toll remained 907 Australian deaths.