Border could open earlier than flagged

 

THE Queensland border could open earlier than July 10, with Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young revealing she could move faster than the state's restrictions roadmap if Australian cases remain very low.

It came as her and Deputy Premier Steven Miles updated media on the state's COVID-19 cases, of which there were no new ones recorded overnight.

Dr Young said "unless of course something was very different either way", the July 10 date stood.

"If things were a lot better then of course we could bring that date forward, as did happen for this month's stage two," she said.

"Or if something were to happen interstate, I'm sure everyone would expect that we then push that date out."

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and Deputy Premier Steven Miles pictured today. Picture: David Clark
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and Deputy Premier Steven Miles pictured today. Picture: David Clark

Asked outright whether borders could reopen before July 10 if active cases remained very low, Dr Young said: "It depends. It's really what happens at the end of June as to what will happen then for that stage of the roadmap."

"At the end of this month we will review all of that epidemiology, not only ours here in Queensland but from across the country to make those decisions around our borders," she said.

Dr Young said there were still some ongoing levels of community transfer in southern states, but she indicated small levels were no longer an absolute impediment to the border reopening.

The Chief Health Officer made the comments as she has dropped her hardline stance around wanting to see a month of no community transfers in other states before reopening the borders, instead labelling that scenario as "the ideal".

She said that would no longer have "the same degree of significance" as in previous months when authorities would not have been able to manage cases that may arise from interstate travel.

"We've got to remember that we're in a totally different position in Queensland today than we were back in March," she said.

"In March we were seeing up to 80 notifications a day, which meant for each notification we would have to contact trace up to maybe 100 people.

"We're now seeing one notification every couple of days and we've seen the requirement for a lot fewer contact tracing to occur … so we can take that into consideration when we look at what happens with our borders."

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said he wanted borders to open as soon as possible, but as safely as possible.

Originally published as Border could open earlier than flagged


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