Canberra, Oct 30 : The Australian state of Queensland said on Friday that it will allow entry to travellers from most of neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) state, while restrictions still remained in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic for Sydney and Victoria.
From November 3, NSW residents from outside the Greater Sydney area will be allowed to travel to Queensland for any reason for the first time since March, and vice versa, reports Xinhua news agency.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said a handful of cases still being recorded in Sydney posed too great of a risk to Queensland, which has recorded relatively low infection rates throughout the pandemic.
On Thursday, Sydney recorded four new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, all of which were linked to each other and originated from an unknown source.
“Based on that new information yesterday, and the information up to that point, I believe it’s important that Queensland remains closed to Sydney,” Young said.
She said those travelling between Queensland and the exempt regions of NSW would still be able to use Sydney airport but would then have to leave the city directly without stopping.
“Queenslanders will be able to travel down into New South Wales to those areas for any reason at all and they can travel via Sydney airport at Mascot,” Young said.
“But they will need to then travel through Sydney without stopping in Sydney to get to those areas outside.”
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said he understood why his state, which was in the process of easing a three-month lockdown and recorded four new cases on Friday, would not be included in the exemption.
“I think it’s totally reasonable,” Andrews said.
“No premier takes any joy in closing borders.They’ve got a responsibility to do whatever they can to keep people safe.