The countdown is on for Queenslanders to return home from Victoria before their home state blocks anyone coming from the COVID-19 hot spot from entering.
There will be no exceptions for Queensland residents returning home after midday on Friday.
Like all other travellers attempting to cross Queensland’s borders, they will be forcibly barred from doing so or will have to fund their own 14-day quarantine in a hotel, at around $200 per night.
“Please get home now. Please get home as quickly as you can,” Health Minister Steven Miles said on Thursday.
“They (Victoria) now have more than twice the number of cases that Queensland had in total (and) they now have more locally acquired cases than Queensland had overseas acquired cases.”
All other Australians will be allowed to enter Queensland from midday on Friday.
The relaxation of the border restrictions comes as the premier says many of the restrictions that have shaped the lives of Queenslanders for months are here to stay.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Wednesday that unless there was a COVID-19 vaccine, the risk would remain high.
“Until there is a vaccine, we have to keep up with the social distancing, we never know when there could be a new case,” she said.
“We have contact tracing in place ready to go and as we’ve seen, it can emerge very quickly, like it has in Victoria.”
The state government will continue to review restrictions and potentially ease them further if they deem it safe to do so.