BORDER BLUES: You can fly to Los Angeles but you can’t drive to Brisbane – yet

Susanna Freymark

You can now fly into Queensland, but you can’t drive there.
You can travel to Los Angeles or New Zealand from today but can’t travel in your car across the border.
The problem is that Queensland hasn’t hit the 80%vaccination target yet and are keeping their borders closely guarded.
Only 77.4% of people in the state aged 16 plus have received their first vaccine dose and 63.5% are fully vaccinated.
NSW has much higher vaccination rates with 93.6% of those aged over 16 having had their first jab. The fully vaccinated rate sits at 87.7% in  NSW.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said border restrictions would be lifted for fully vaccinated travellers from NSW and Victoria once 80% of Queensland residents had two jabs.
Federal MP Kevin Hogan called for the Queensland border to be reopened.
“From today you can fly overseas and do not need an exemption, you can travel freely between NSW, Victoria and the ACT,” Mr Hogan said.
“But we cannot drive into Queensland.

Family and friends need to be reunited, it is also too hard to get to medical appointments.

State MP Janelle Saffin is part of a Border Communities Taskforce working with the Queensland Government on border re-opening.
Ms Saffin believes a policy framework, backed by more funding, would make work and daily life easier for thousands of residents who criss-cross the border.
Kyogle LGA and Tenterfield Shire residents who regularly travelled across the Queensland border are feeling the border restrictions
Tenterfield Shire councillor Gary Verri told the Queensland premier that some towns in his shire such as Urbenville were closer to Brisbane than to Tenterfield.

I believe that the NSW Government could and should help the border businesses.

Ms Palaszczuk plans to allow fully vaccinated interstate arrivals by plane only when the state reaches a 70% vaccination target, but visitors will still not be permitted to drive across the border until an 80% target is reached.
This is expected to be on December 17.
Overseas arrivals will also be able to home quarantine at 80% if they test negative to covid prior to departure. When Queensland hits the 90% fully vaccinated target, there will be no border restrictions or quarantine for fully vaccinated domestic and international arrivals.
The plan does not include details for when unvaccinated people will be able to cross the Queensland border.

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