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Queensland to shut down hotel quarantine for two weeks

written by Hannah Dowling | August 25, 2021
A Qantas 737-800 as shot at Brisbane BNE by Rob Finlayson

The Queensland government has announced a two-week pause on its hotel quarantine system for interstate arrivals, due to overwhelming demand.

From 12pm on Wednesday, the state government will tighten the rules that allow people to cross the border in Queensland, in order to ease the pressure on its “overwhelmed” hotel quarantine system.

Instead, interstate arrivals will be required to both secure an exemption and book a spot in the hotel quarantine system before they travel to the border.

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Anyone with an existing border pass will now be required to reapply, if they intend to cross the border after 12pm Wednesday.

“Anyone who’s not already on a flight at midday will not be able to arrive simply on a right of entry pass,” said Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath.

“Everyone who’s a Queensland resident, or seeking to relocate, will need to reapply for their pass.”

State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the move will essentially mean people can not permanently relocate from other states into Queensland over the next two weeks.

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However, the state will still offer exemptions on the grounds of compassionate or medical reasons, and allow those people to quarantine on arrival.

According to Premier Palaszczuk, Queensland provided 2,752 border passes to people travelling from interstate in the two weeks from 9 August to 20 August.

“We are really concerned about the pressure the hotel quarantine system is putting on our resources,” she said.

”We are scrambling for hotels. This has got to stop. It’s too much pressure so we have to put on a pause. We simply just do not have any room at the moment.”

The state government suggested too many people are looking to permanently move to Queensland from COVID hotspots in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

“While we have allowed genuine relocations for work and other purposes, it has overwhelmed our hotels and it has to be stopped for at least the next fortnight,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“Queensland is being loved to death.”

“I want people to come home,” she added. “If people want to relocate here, I want them to relocate here but we just have to do it in a sensible and orderly fashion.”

Currently, there are 5,114 people being quarantined across 22 Queensland hotels, 3,257 of which are interstate arrivals, while 1,857 have come from overseas.

It’s the highest number of people Queensland has seen in quarantine since the system began.

It comes as Queensland recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, following a false alarm over two truck drivers who crossed the border from NSW.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said subsequent COVID testing of the truck drivers found they were not positive cases, however they will continue to be tested every seven days under a new surveillance program for truck drivers throughout Australia.

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4 Comments

  • Fully Vaccinated but not against Govt excess

    says:

    Palashmuk and her CHO side kick are oblivious to the pointless chaos this sudden rule change is having on Queenslanders undertaking 14 day hotel quarantine in neighbouring states. We can’t get Qld border passes either now. So contrary to the dear leader’s rationale , we are being punished /rendered homeless even though we are already quarantining and will create no burden on the Qld state system.

    Our dim witted politician and her unelected official are pandering to /actively encouraging public fear and wielding enormous power in the most arbitrary fashion. It’s more scary than the virus. I look forward to the next election, assuming we still have elections by then. I know who I won’t be voting for.

    • Muzza

      says:

      Tell them you are a Rugby player and the doors will magically open…….

      • Warwick

        says:

        Touché, Muzza! Just gold!

  • Nicholas

    says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I live in QLD.

    What can you say, appalling, callous incompetent, words fail me.

    Even if she is a dead set idiot surely she has staff who are intelligent and can tell her the shocking damage she’s going to do to thousands, literally, of peoples lives.

    The whole Covid saga has shown the inability of most state governments to be able to manage this, but this shocker is in a league of its own.

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