Queenslanders are being urged to holiday locally this winter as a war of words over the state’s refusal to allow interstate tourists rages on.
Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk says the border will remain closed until the number of coronavirus cases in the southern states falls.
“I hope they get their community transmission under control because that means we will be able to open up sooner,” she said on Thursday.
Ms Palaszczuk also urged Queenslanders to get behind local tourism operators and book a winter holiday close to home, warning travel to and from NSW and Victoria could be off-limits until September.
The announcement comes amid pressure from the tourism industry and other stakeholders to open the state’s borders.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief executive Daniel Gschwind says the sector understood the decisions made to keep people safe, but it was almost time to let visitors in.
“The curve has well and truly flattened,” he said.
He urged the premier to stick to the recovery road map released a fortnight ago, which would allow intra- and interstate travel from July 10.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian echoed the call, saying Queensland should relax its rules and allow interstate travellers to visit the Sunshine State for a holiday.
But Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey was having none of it, saying the government won’t take health advice from NSW, which has recorded 49 deaths from the virus and is still regularly recording new cases.
“It’s time for Gladys and the NSW government to get their act together and start performing as well as Queensland has on the health front.”
Ms Palaszczuk agreed.
There have been 1058 cases of COVID-19 recorded in Queensland. Six people have died and 12 cases remain active.