Queensland restrictions to stay until there is vaccine for COVID-19

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has issued a reality check for any Queenslander thinking next week marks the beginning of a return to pre-coronavirus days.

Ms Palaszczuk said Wednesday that industries would not simply bounce back to the way they operated before the global health crisis.

Queenslanders will continue to live under some form of restrictions on their daily lives until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

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“It’s never going to be exactly the same, so we are in this post-COVID world,” she said.

“Until there is a vaccine we have to keep up with the social distancing; we never know when there could be a new case.

“We have contact tracing in place ready to go and as we’ve seen it can emerge very quickly, like it has in Victoria.”

However, the state government will continue to review the remaining limits and may roll them back further, depending on how well Queensland and the rest of the nation handle the virus.

The Sunshine State is sending its deputy chief health officer and 40 nurses to Victoria as the state struggles to bring numerous COVID-19 outbreaks under control.

Ms Palaszczuk says Queensland will throw more resources at Victoria to help with the mammoth task of suppressing community transmission, if it is asked.

It will also be taking a share of international flights diverted from Victoria while it grapples with the outbreak.

Queensland is preparing to open its borders to all states except Victoria on July 10.

The decision comes after weeks of calls from the hospitality and tourism industries for a reopening, amid a financial downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyone arriving from Victoria will either be turned around at the border or forced to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks at their own cost.

If they refuse to be tested, authorities will keep them in quarantine for another 10 days at their expense.

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All other visitors will be welcome, but must fill out an online declaration that they haven’t been overseas or to Victoria in the 14 days prior to their arrival.

“We expect people to tell the truth because if it’s found out that they are lying, it is a very serious offence, it is $4000,” Ms Palaszczuk added.

She has taken other state leaders to task for adding to public pressure to open up Queensland, but said the national cabinet was still working well.

In the meantime, restrictions on dining and retail, contact sports and gatherings will further ease from noon Friday.

Casinos, food courts and nightclubs can reopen while weddings, funerals and private gatherings of up to 100 people can go ahead from Friday.

-with AAP