Townsville 500 border relief

The second Townsville Supercars event of 2020

Queensland will reopen its border to Greater Melbourne this week, in time for next month’s NTI Townsville 500.

Residents of/visitors to the capital had been locked out of Queensland since the end of May due to the hotspot declaration for, initially, the whole of Victoria, and more recently the local government areas which make up Greater Melbourne.

Restrictions on travel from Melbourne will lift on Friday at 01:00 (local time/AEST) and, under the Sunshine State’s COVID regulations, it means uninhibited movement into the Sunshine State is allowed immediately from that time.

As such, no quarantine/isolation will be necessary before the Townsville 500 takes place on July 9-11.

That will be a relief for a number of personnel involved in the Repco Supercars Championship, including but not limited to the six teams based in the southern state.

They had been promised that they would not have to stay on the road, having vacated Victoria a fortnight early to isolate in New South Wales last weekend’s Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, in the Northern Territory.

Had the Melbourne hotspot declaration remained, those crews would have had to have been making preparations to leave again around now, to ensure they could make Townsville in time.

“Remember we’ve had those restrictions on people in Victoria travelling to Queensland?” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this morning.

“So, in good news, that will be lifted on 1am Friday, so that’s great news for people there.”

The rider on the good news for Supercars, however, is the concern now over Sydney and its latest COVID-19 outbreak.

That could affect Team Sydney, although it is understood that a number of its key personnel are based on the Gold Coast, where it may also make use of the Tekno Autosports base.

Brad Jones Racing is also based in New South Wales, but down in Albury, on the southern border, meaning it would be spared any travel headaches if cases are confined to Sydney and Queensland differentiates between the capital and the regions, as it came to do for Victoria.

“We’re going to be keeping a close eye on New South Wales and once again – I know the Health Minister will stress this – if you’re a Queenslander, probably best not to travel to New South Wales at this time,” added Premier Palaszczuk.

NSW has just announced 10 new local cases, bringing the Bondi cluster to 21.

Five were recorded in the last 24-hour reporting period, two of which had already been announced, and another seven will be counted tomorrow morning.

Six of the new cases, however, are close contacts of previously recorded cases and were already in isolation.

It should also be noted for anyone intending to travel from NSW to Townsville that they will need to complete the Queensland Border Declaration Pass three business days before entering Queensland, regardless of whether they come from a hotspot or not, given the state of NSW has declared hotspots.

Those going from states with no hotspots need only complete the Queensland Travel Declaration.

The Townsville 500 will also feature the Dunlop Super2 Series (including Super3), Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia, Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series, and Boost Mobile Stadium Super Trucks.

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