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Don’t fly to NSW, urges Queensland Premier

written by Adam Thorn | July 28, 2020

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8FE departs from Brisbane
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8FE departs from Brisbane, at Sunset (Michael Marston)

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk dealt an enormous blow to interstate travel by advising her citizens not to visit NSW.

She also doubled-down on her comments yesterday suggesting she could formally close the border if COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney escalate.

“People of Queensland have been stopping me, they have been telling me they support our stance when it comes to the borders,” Premier Palaszczuk said on Tuesday. “If we have to take even stronger measures we will take stronger measures.”

Queensland only opened its border to NSW on 10 July but, shortly after, effectively banned people from entering the state if they had passed through selected “hotspot” areas, including the western Sydney City of Fairfield, Campbelltown and Liverpool.

On Tuesday, however, Premier Palaszczuk went one step further and advised all Queenslanders not to fly the other way.


“I would advise Queenslanders at the moment to not travel to New South Wales,” she said.

“We have a hard border closure with Victoria, we have three declared hotspots with New South Wales and if there are further outbreaks we will not hesitate to take action.”

The words will likely be greeted with dismay by Qantas and Virgin Australia, with both businesses betting big on winter tourism.

In June for instance, Jetstar sale tickets, including those between Sydney and the Gold Coast, were selling at a rate of 220 per minute, nearly 40 times higher than the normal rate of bookings.

In total, 10,000 Jetstar $19 tickets sold out in just four hours. Panicked customers will now be in two minds whether to fly, and what rights they will have to cancel or get their money back for flights or accommodation.

So far, Premier Palaszczuk’s words are believed to be just advice.

The comments are surprising given that NSW appears to have its recent ‘clusters’ under control. The state reported just 14 new cases on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison praising the work of Sydney’s contact tracers.

“There are some concerning outbreaks in New South Wales but they’re getting on top of them extremely quickly,” PM Morrison said. “They’re able to keep their economy open and they’re able to get on top of an outbreak and it is in Australia’s national interests that they be successful.

“It’s important that they can demonstrate that success as we right the situation in Victoria.”

On Monday, Premier Palaszczuk said she would not hesitate to “slam the borders shut” to NSW if COVID-19 resurges there.

“If the chief health officer gives me advice for a hard border closure with NSW, we will not hesitate to do that,” Premier Palaszczuk said. “Every single day we are monitoring what is happening in NSW.”

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Comments (7)

  • Richard


    Is anyone surprised?
    This is a pandemic – the desire to fly around the world HAS to take a back seat to common sense to keep this virus in check.
    Well done Premier Palaszczuk, McGowan, Marshall etc. for taking it seriously.

  • Richard


    Is anyone surprised?
    This is a pandemic – the desire to fly around the world HAS to take a back seat to common sense to keep this virus in check.
    Well done Premier Palaszczuk, McGowan, Marshall etc. for taking it seriously!!

  • Morgan


    Can’t understand why, in the middle of a pandemic, that people would want to fly interstate.
    It’s been around long enough now for the life-long effects it has on the human body to be well known by the community.
    Listen to what the well-trained medical folk are saying. It’s devastating the populace. Just look at the numbers of both infected & deceased.
    It’ll be years’ before it’s eradicated. A vaccine could still be a long time away.

  • Mike Borgelt


    This would be amusing if it wasn’t so serious. Australia and New Zealand will remain isolated from the rest of the world with trashed economies while everywhere else will have herd immunity and their economies will be recovering nicely.
    This hasn’t been thought through by the Australian authorities. What is the end game? A vaccine? Good luck as there never has been a successful human corona virus vaccine, not for lack of trying.
    Stick a fork in us, we’re done.

  • Pedro Camus


    It is sad to see petty statements from State leaders. We are firstly from one Australia and only secondly from a respective State or Territory. Why not help each other and cross pollinate ideas to combat and defeat this dreaded virus. The way this border issue is going I can see one Australian State selling a vaccine to another Australian State at exorbitant rates and on a take it or leave it attitude. Come on State leaders, be Australians and help each other and by doing that you will help the rest.

  • Stuart lawrence


    None of these state premiers and cheif ministers have to run a business with well trained people who then have to sit on job keeper payments becuase of these border closuers. It is against our constitution to close our state borders

  • Paul


    All the fuss over having an airline hq in Brisbane, and now do not fly? Bain should reconsider where its airline hq would be located.

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