Queensland remains concerned about the increasing number of NSW COVID-19 cases ahead of the potential reopening of the border at the end of the month.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles says health officials were closely watching developments and the decision about reopening would be made closer to the November.

“Their premier indicated they felt they may be on the cusp of another outbreak not unlike the one they saw after the Crossroads Hotel case,” Mr Miles told reporters while campaigning in Townsville for the October 31 state election.

It followed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s critical remarks about the Palaszczuk government’s tough border stance to a Cairns radio station.

The prime minister said “health borders” should only be implemented for “health reasons and only as long as it is absolutely necessary”.

He also targeted Queensland’s requirement for NSW to record 28-days without community transmission before opening the border.

“You’ve got to have realistic goals,” he said.

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Mr Morrison said the strict border rules were also causing tourism operators to miss out on domestic and international trade.

“I know how important the tourism trade is to North Queensland,” he said.

“I’d love to see Kiwi holidaymakers coming to Queensland … but they won’t be,” the prime minister said referring to a border bubble agreement allowing New Zealanders to visit NSW, the Northern Territory and ACT from Friday.

“The Queensland government is still insisting on two weeks’ quarantine.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shot back saying the state’s strong rules had allowed the state to focus on its economic recovery.

AAP

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