Queensland will open its borders to ACT residents, with Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles making the announcement this morning, Friday 18 September.
Mr Miles confirmed border restrictions with the ACT would be lifted as at 1am on Friday 25 September.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr welcomed the announcement and said he would continue to discuss options with other states and territories.
“The Northern Territory Chief Minister and I have had conversations about re-establishing flights between the two territories, and Tasmania is another state that we are hoping to re-establish direct aviation links,” Mr Barr said.
“As Canberrans consider travelling again, I urge them to always practise good hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing. If you begin to feel unwell you should immediately reconsider your travel.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said ACT residents would be allowed over the Queensland border without having to quarantine for 14 days, provided they fly direct from Canberra.
“People can come from the ACT as long as they haven’t been in a declared hotspot, which is currently NSW and Victoria, in the previous 14 days,” Dr Young said.
“They [ACT residents] have to fly in, they can’t drive. Because if they drive, they’ll be driving through a hotspot,” Dr Young said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Twitter the Sunshine State would work with ACT authorities to ensure appropriate checks are in place at Canberra Airport for people flying into Queensland.
“I have spoken with Chief Minister Andrew Barr to confirm the ACT will be removed as a hotspot,” she wrote.
Canberra Airport’s head of aviation Michael Thomson said the Queensland border announcement “could not have come at a better time”.
“We currently have nine direct services to Queensland – seven to Brisbane and two to the Gold Coast with both Qantas and Virgin Australia,” he said.
“Canberrans are now free to travel between the ACT and South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland without the need to quarantine.”
South Australia announced it would allow ACT residents to enter without a 14 day quarantine from 15 September.
The ACT once again recorded no new cases in the last 24 hours.