Why Qld won’t open the border to Sydneysiders

Queensland will not open its borders to Sydneysiders on Sunday because the NSW capital has not met tough requirements.

NSW has recorded eight local coronavirus cases in the last four days, including one under investigation. One of those was diagnosed overnight and will be included in Saturday’s numbers.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Friday, on the eve of the Queensland election, declaring residents living within the 32 local government areas (LGAs) in Sydney will remain banned from entering the state.

The November 1 opening date will also be moved to November 3 for regional NSW residents.

The Queensland Premier has come under fire for months for her hardline border stance, with businesses and tourism operators – including those behind the theme parks – begging their leader to open the border ahead of summer.

Weeks ago Ms Palaszczuk declared she would open the border to NSW on November 1 if there were no mystery cases in the state.

Gladys Berejiklian and Annastacia Palaszczuk aren’t on the same page when it comes to the Queensland border.Source:Supplied

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young has repeatedly noted that NSW was expected to record no unlinked cases of community transmission for 28 days.

This requirement has not been met.

When mystery cases started popping up again, with many in Sydney's southwest, Ms Palaszczuk said NSW had just 48 hours to determine the source of any mystery infections while threatening to keep the border closed.

This was a problem for NSW, which announced four new local cases of the virus on Thursday. The original case remains under investigation, while the other three infections are household contacts of that case.

Another community case was revealed by Ms Berejiklian on Friday. It is linked to a trampoline centre in Prestons where another positive case visited.

NSW health authorities, including chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant, have remained transparent and realistic about the state battling three known clusters – one in Oran Park, another linked to a Lakemba GP and another outbreak relating to a private clinic in Liverpool.

Another concern is one of Thursday’s infections attending a popular F45 in Leppington 13 times while potentially infectious, sending dozens of gym goers into isolation.

But the NSW Premier remains adamant the border should open.

The Queensland border has been closed to NSW since early August. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve HollandSource:News Corp Australia

“We should be allowed to move around freely and safely,” Ms Berejiklian said.

On Friday Dr Young said she reviewed the situation in NSW and was concerned several LGAs had cases of community transmission that were not linked to known clusters.

“Yesterday (Thursday) they had four new cases and one of those cases they could not link to any other known clusters,” she said.

She also noted concerns about the number of Sydney venues on alert.

“Sydney is one city and people move around that city. That is why those 32 LGAs all need to be declared hot spots,” Dr Young explained.

“Outside those 32 LGAs have not been any cases in the previous 28 days, so that is really good news and NSW has done exceptionally well.”

Earlier on Friday Scott Morrison urged the Queensland Premier to open her borders.

Speaking to 2GB’s Ben Fordham, the Prime Minister said Ms Palaszczuk should make decisions based on health advice but be transparent about it.

“We can't stay stuck in neutral. We’ve got to ‘gear up’ again,” he said.

Sydneysiders will remain banned from entering Queensland. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve HollandSource:News Corp Australia

Queensland recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, but the day before two were confirmed in hotel quarantine.

Here’s a breakdown of the last week’s worth of cases in NSW:

October 23: Zero local cases and seven in hotel quarantine

October 24: Zero local cases and five in hotel quarantine

October 25: Zero local cases and seven in hotel quarantine

October 26: One local case (linked to Oran Park) and three in hotel quarantine

October 27: Two local cases (linked to Oran Park) and 10 in hotel quarantine

October 28: One new local case (linked to Lakemba GP) and seven in hotel quarantine

October 29: Four new local cases (one mystery case – the other three household contacts of that case) and one in hotel quarantine

One new case (linked to a trampoline centre where another positive case attended) was announced by Ms Berejiklian on Friday, but it will be recorded in Saturday’s numbers since the result came through after 8pm on Thursday.

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