Queensland will reopen to New South Wales on December 1 and could also allow arrivals from Victoria again that day.
The dropping of such border closures moves will mean movement up and down Australia’s eastern states will be unimpeded for the first time since April, after NSW reopened its border with Victoria overnight.
While most Australian motorsport series are over for 2020, or did not ever get underway, Queensland’s move comes just in time for the one-off Shannons Motorsport Australia Festival at Sandown next month.
Queensland’s decision comes after its southern neighbour notched up 28 straight days without a case of COVID-19 which was not traceable to a known outbreak, otherwise known as an ‘unlinked’ case.
Victoria is closing in on the same milestone, and now has no active cases of the coronavirus.
If it too can reach the 28-day threshold, the Sunshine State would also reopen to arrivals from Victoria on December 1.
“(Queensland’s chief health officer) has been in extensive conversations with the New South Wales chief health officer,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palazczuk.
“Dr (Jeanette) Young is now satisfied that they have reached the threshold of 28 days so can I say to New South Wales we welcome you to Queensland from December 1.
“We know how tough this has been on families. This is a great day.”
On Victoria, Premier Palaszczuk advised, “If they reach that 28 days tomorrow, then they, too, will be open on December 1.”
For NSW, the reopening to Queensland affects only its capital at this point in time, given free access had already been granted other than to arrivals from Sydney.
South Australia’s recent blip in cases has seen access from that state to Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory restricted for the time being.
Organisers of various motorsport competitions are already planning for a more normal year in 2021.
Supercars is yet to release its calendar, but the likes of TCR Australia and S5000 already have their seasons largely in place, including news that the February visit to Phillip Island will be a 2+4 meeting shared with the Australian Superbike Championship.
The opening rounds of TCR Australia and S5000 will take place in Tasmania, at Symmons Plains, on January 24-26.
Tasmania is currently fully open to all Australian states except Victoria and South Australia, as well as New Zealand.
See below for a list of restrictions
Australian travel restrictions
|New South Wales||Open|
|Victoria||No entry from SA ‘red zones’|
|Queensland||No entry from SA hotspots, or from VIC until at least Dec 1|
|Australian Capital Territory||No entry from SA COVID-19 Declared Place except for ACT residents (who must quarantine)|
|Western Australia||No entry from SA; NSW, VIC arrivals must quarantine|
|South Australia||No entry from VIC until Dec 1|
|Northern Territory||Greater Melbourne arrivals must quarantine|
|Tasmania||VIC, SA arrivals must quarantine|