Queensland is ready to ‘close the border’ to protect residents from the growing number of COVID-19 cases in New South Wales and Victoria.
The Queensland government angered many stakeholders when it closed state borders to all travelers between March and July.
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But Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is ready and willing to do it again.
“If there are epidemics of community transmission or if it cannot be located or if there are clusters, we will not hesitate to declare hot spots,” she told reporters on Monday.
“We will not hesitate – if it gets out of hand – to slam the border.”
It comes as more New South Wales residents will be barred from entering Queensland from Monday, with Sydney’s Fairfield area declared a hotspot.
Liverpool and Campbelltown in NSW are also declared hotspots, as is the whole of the state of Victoria.
Palaszczuk said any decisions regarding other hot spots or border closures will be made on the advice of Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jeannette Young.
“This council has put Queensland in a very good position,” said the Prime Minister.
“Every day we are monitoring the situation in New South Wales.”
The Prime Minister also announced another new measure to ensure Queenslanders maintain social distancing.
A new awareness campaign will be launched to ensure that people are doing the “right thing” by “maintaining this social distance,” Palaszczuk said.
It follows the rollback of certain freedoms in restaurants, pubs and clubs in Queensland.
All guests will need to be seated to eat or drink, the CHO said on Friday, blindly sidelining the hospitality industry.
“We know there is widespread community transmission in Victoria,” Palaszczuk said.
“This is an additional measure to ensure the safety of people.
“We’ve had a lot of reports of people not doing the right thing.
“So I hope that strengthening this rule, to be seated, will ensure that everyone is doing the right thing and keeping the Queenslanders safe during this time.”