Annastacia Palaszczuk declared the next 24 to 48 hours are critical as the Queensland premier grows increasingly anxious about the NSW Covid-19 crisis edging closer to the border.
On Monday, the state leader said she would “stop everyone” entering Queensland from the state’s southern neighbour if the outbreak worsened and later that day a new infection was revealed in Byron Bay and the Local Government Area was plunged into lockdown.
Throughout the week, further clusters have emerged near the Queensland’s southwest border at Armidale and Walgett Shire as NSW cases soar by more than 300 a day.
Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Thursday morning she would be speaking with the state’s mayors along the borders to ensure there was no threat “creeping” into Queensland from the crisis-ridden southern neighbour.
“We are very concerned,” the Premier said, as she urged Queenslanders “do not go” into NSW.
The Premier will seek assurance from mayors on the Queensland-NSW border on Thursday. NCA NewsWire / Sarah MarshallSource:News Corp Australia
“Queenslanders who live on the Gold Coast and New South Wales border as well, or any Queenslanders in parts of our state, please do not cross into New South Wales.
“We will be monitoring the situation extremely closely over the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she was observing the outbreak “creeping north” and reaffirmed her warning to slam the border closed entirely.
“If we have to implement harder measures, we will,” she said. “I am urging Queenslanders — do not go into New South Wales.”
The blunt warning comes as Queensland eased border restrictions with South Australia following its recent cluster being controlled.
SA travellers currently in quarantine will be released on Thursday and visitors can begin flying back into Queensland.
But Ms Palaszczuk said visitors will not be able to enter Queensland from SA by road given the situation in NSW.
All restrictions with Victoria will remain in place as it grapples with its own outbreak.
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