Queensland will open its borders to all states except Victoria on July 10, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed on Tuesday.
Other states and territories will be able to travel into Queensland after filling out a border pass declaring they haven’t been to Victoria for the past two weeks.
“If you falsify a document, you will face strict penalties and fines up to $4,000,” Palaszczuk told reporters before warning she would cancel the border reopening to states and territories that experience future COVID-19 community transmission outbreaks similar to Victoria.
From this Friday July 3 at 12pm, people who have been in Victoria and need to travel to Queensland, including Queensland residents, must self-isolate in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.
“We just can’t risk removing border restrictions for people coming from areas of Victoria right now,” Palaszczuk added.
“We want to help Victoria out. We’ve sent our Deputy Chief Health Officer down to Victoria, Dr Young will also mention to you that we are prepared to give even more support to Victoria.”
The premier went on to urge Queenslanders to stay in their home state this school holidays.
“Please do not go to Victoria.” she said. “Stay in Queensland.”
South Australia on Tuesday cancelled its scheduled reopening to some parts of the nation, citing a spike in coronavirus infections in neighbouring Victoria.
South Australia had said it would remove restrictions on interstate arrivals on July 20 as part of a broader nationwide relaxation of curbs to contain the new coronavirus.
However, Victoria has reported a double-digit increase in new cases for each of the past 13 days, resulting in Australia’s biggest daily increase in new cases since April.
“We are very hopeful that Victoria will be able to bring their outbreaks under control but at this stage we cannot possibly lift that border on 20 July as we were hoping to do,” South Australia Premier Steven Marshall told reporters.
“We have worked so hard to get ourselves into a very enviable position and we are not prepared to go backwards.”
Marshall said the state would still consider opening its borders to arrivals from other states where infections have been contained, such as Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales (NSW), but did not specify a time.
South Australia’s borders with Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory were reopened earlier this month.
Australia’s delays in reopening internal borders have complicated federal ambitions to set up a “travel bubble” with New Zealand that would allow the movement of people between the two countries.
Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,800 cases and 104 deaths, but the recent surge has stoked fears of a second wave.
After reporting 75 new cases on Monday, Victoria is yet to give a daily update of case numbers on Tuesday.
NSW said it would continue to keep its border open as it focused on supporting its economy amid the pandemic. The state reported no new cases on Tuesday.
“We’ve even welcomed people who’ve come across our own borders to New South Wales, who had the disease, and we’ve managed that,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
“There is a path forward because I don’t want to see further jobs go.”
Byron Kaye of Reuters contributed to this report.