Visitors from Sydney will be banned from Queensland until at least February, with authorities also being “very concerned” about cases of COVID-19 in Victoria

Queensland was due to review the closure of the hard border with Greater Sydney on Friday, but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the date has been extended to the end of January

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state would extend the ban on visitors from the greater Sydney area at least until the end of the monthCredit: Jono Searle / Getty Images

“I know this is very disappointing to people at this time, but we are still concerned about the greater Sydney area,” said Ms. Palaszczuk

“We also have a brief overview of Victoria, we are also very concerned about Victoria”

Ms. Palaszczuk also urged the Queenslanders to consider traveling to New South Wales and Victoria to reconsider this

Jeannette Young, Queensland’s chief health officer, said it would take 28 days for the borders with Greater Sydney to reopen

“You will often find the shortcut then, so there have been a few in the past week”

Daniel Gschwind, chairman of the board of directors of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, said the announcement would trigger a number of cancellations from interstate travelers

“It will deter anyone from making any kind of booking in the near future – that’s a constant concern of ours,” he said

Mr Gschwind said interstate travel to Queensland is valued at $ 10 billion a year, with about 40 percent coming from NSW and a large portion of that from Sydney

“As excited as Queenslanders have been traveling within Queensland, we have to fill some gaps between interstate travelers in the near future,” he said

“Going forward, we need to be able to handle occasional cases or outbreaks in a balanced way – that is, focus on the hotspot, rely on tracing, rely on testing, and rely on hygiene measures

“Because we want to make every effort to prevent wholesale border closings that have been so costly to our industry, economy in general and the community”

However, Mr Gschwind said it was a relief that the border ban had not been extended to the rest of NSW

“We definitely hope that by the end of the month we will see a full resolution of the problems in the greater Sydney area that will allow us to open the borders to all of New South Wales,” he said

Health Secretary Yvette D’Ath said extending the Greater Sydney hotspot declaration through the end of the month would reassure tourism companies and encourage others to vacation in Queensland

However, a cleaner working in the Brisbane hotel quarantine has been found to test positive for COVID This ended Queensland’s 113-day recording with no local broadcast and raised urgent alerts for those with symptoms that should be tested

“I was hoping that larger Sydney residents could soon visit our area and be reunited with family and friends,” he said

“Today’s decision will have an impact on our summer tourism numbers, but at the same time it is good to see that we are not in a difficult borderline situation as it would be devastating to hundreds of thousands of travelers and our economy”

Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Economic and Policy Advisor Jack Baxter said the state line closure is having an impact on small businesses in the hotel, restaurant and tourism industries

“Visitors from New South Wales alone account for about 23 percent of total Queensland tourism spending, with a lesser proportion from the Greater Sydney area,” he said

“Uncertainty damages business confidence, which is why the private sector continues to demand a clear and coherent framework for border closings”

Queensland COVID, Brisbane Covid, Covid Brisbane

World News – AU – Sydney’s expanded ban raises concerns for the tourism industry

Source: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/extended-sydney-ban-prompts-fears-for-tourism-industry-20210107-p56sb6.html