Queensland‘s border has reopened to travellers from Victoria and Greater Sydney with hopes it will lead to a much-needed economic boom.
Thousands of other southerners are expected to flock to the Sunshine State after the COVID-19 hotspot declarations blocking them were lifted at 1am on Tuesday.
“Queensland‘s health-led economic recovery is set to really take off … and with that will come more jobs for Queenslanders,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles told reporters.
About 6000 people are booked to fly into Brisbane airport from NSW and Victoria on Tuesday, with numbers expected to soar in the coming days.
Virgin Australia will make more than 100,000 seats available to travellers from the two states before Christmas and the Qantas Group has scheduled 410 flights per week, Mr Miles said.
“Tourism industry sources tell me anecdotally they are already experiencing a significant uplift in activity, with one booking agent reporting a 300 per cent increase in the number of calls,” Mr Miles said.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) November 30, 2020
Tourists are expected to spend $3.5 billion in Queensland in the coming month, which Mr Miles said would lead to more businesses reopening and people finding employment.
Queensland has also scrapped the border pass system and work has started to remove the road checkpoints along the southern border.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski asked motorists coming from northern NSW to be patient … particularly in the Gold Coast and Goondawindi areas.
Police will continue to randomly intercept vehicles crossing the border to check if any travellers from Greater Adelaide are trying to sneak into Queensland.
Travellers from that hotspot will have to wait another week to learn if a welcome mat will be thrown out to them.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said on Monday she needed more time to assess the ongoing Adelaide virus cluster, that has now grown to 33 people.