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State to social distance until vaccine found

The Queensland premier has announced more measures to help stop COVID-19 entering the state from Victoria. WORDS: AAP.

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State to social distance until vaccine found

The Queensland premier has announced more measures to help stop COVID-19 entering the state from Victoria. WORDS: AAP.

Queenslanders will continue to live a somewhat restricted life until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, the premier says.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says industries will not simply bounce back to the way they operated before the global health crisis.

“It’s never going to be exactly the same, so we are in this post-COVID world,” she says. “Until there is a vaccine, we have to keep up with the social distancing. We never know when there could be a new case.

“We have contact tracing in place ready to go and as we’ve seen, it can emerge very quickly, like it has in Victoria.”

However, the state government will continue to review the remaining limits and may roll them back further, depending on how well Australia and Queensland handle the virus.

Queensland is sending its deputy chief health officer and 40 nurses to Victoria as the state struggles to bring the Melbourne outbreak under control.

Ms Palaszczuk says Queensland will throw more resources at Victoria to help with the mammoth task of suppressing community transmission, if it is asked.

It will also be taking a share of international flights diverted from Victoria while it grapples with the outbreak.

Queensland is preparing to open its borders to all states except Victoria today, July 10.

The decision comes after weeks of calls from the hospitality and tourism industries for the reopening amid a financial downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyone arriving from Victoria will either be turned around at the border or forced to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks at their own cost.

All other visitors will be welcome, but must fill out a declaration that they haven’t been overseas or to Victoria in the 14 days before their arrival.

“We expect people to tell the truth because if it’s found out that they are lying, it is a very serious offence. It is $4000,” Ms Palaszczuk says.

Queensland caravan park owners are already fielding calls from Victorians on how they can get around the rule.

“I’ve spoken to several caravan parks today who say their phones have been running hot, particularly with Victorians trying to find out if they spend 14 days in New South Wales, can they then come into Queensland,” Caravan Parks Association of Queensland general manager Michelle Weston says.

“There are a large number of Victorians who call Queensland home over winter, so with the border restrictions, that will mean a lot of those may not be able to come.”

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