Virgin Australia has said it will fly from Newcastle to Brisbane three times a week, despite Queensland shutting its border to NSW.
The service announcement comes after Jetstar also confirmed it will fly twice a week between the destinations, too.
According to the Queensland government website, the only people that can travel from ‘hotspots’ such as NSW, other than returning citizens, are essential state and government employees (such as army and police); health and emergency services; transport, freight and logistics workers; time-critical specialist skill workers (such as construction or resources); and air and maritime crew.
Residents who have passed through hotspot areas will be allowed to return to Queensland, but must quarantine at a government facility for 14 days.
“Newcastle Airport also continues to offer flight services to Canberra, Ballina/Byron, Dubbo and Sydney from our local airline Fly Pelican who has continued to provide these services throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” said Newcastle in a statement. “Please visit Fly Pelican at www.flypelican.com.au for an up to date flight schedule.”
Earlier this month, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she was closing the state off to all of NSW and the ACT to avoid a “second wave” of coronavirus cases.
“We’ve seen that Victoria is not getting better and we’re not going to wait for NSW to get worse,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
The dramatic move came after she had, just a week earlier, closed to Greater Sydney following a number of ‘clusters’.
However, the ACT still has no active infections at all.
On Friday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suggested Queensland’s rapid closing of its borders to NSW and ACT was driven by politics not medical advice.
He added it was “childish” that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the decision to introduce new travel restrictions rapidly without first informing her NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian.
Talking to the Today program on Friday, Minister Dutton said, “When you get a Premier like Annastacia Palaszczuk making announcements about border closures when Gladys Berejiklian is doing a press conference and she is caught out, the question is asked of her and she knows nothing about it, she hadn’t been contacted by Queensland you would imagine she would be a bit miffed.”