Queensland shuts out Sydneysiders in blow to tourism sector

Greater Sydney has been declared a hotspot by the Queensland Government effective from 1am Saturday.

“There has been more outbreaks in other parts of Greater Sydney and that will now become a COVID declared hotspot taking effect from 1am on Saturday,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“We have done this to ensure we give notice to Queenslanders who may want to return home.

“We are in extraordinary times at the moment and we have to do everything we can. Queenslanders should not be travelling to Sydney.”

Returning Queenslanders will be required to self-fund two weeks hotel quarantine when the new measures come into effect.

“We are monitoring the situation in New South Wales every single day,” Palaszczuk said.

“We do not want a second wave here. We do not want widespread community transmission.”

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had no prior warning of the decision.

“It would have been nice if she told me, but that’s fine,” Berejiklian said.

“I note that the cases they have had up there announced today are all from Victoria.

“In the end it hurts the smaller states when they don’t interact with New South Wales.”

The news is a blow to the Queensland tourism sector which was banking on an influx of of visitors from the south to help them recover from the economic devastation of the last four months. In the in the 12 months to March 2020 the Gold Coast alone welcomed 665,000 Sydneysiders.

“This is an unprecedented and challenging time for the tourism sector and community at large,” Destination Gold Coast executive director of marketing Carla Anderson told MyGC.

“The Queensland Government’s decision to declare greater Sydney a hotspot from Saturday, 1 August is a setback to Gold Coast’s tourism recovery, which has made strong headway to date.

“However the health and safety of Gold Coasters, visitors, businesses and our tourism community is the top priority.

“The extent this impact will have to Gold Coast tourism is too soon to tell, although we know that consumer travel sentiment and confidence is an important factor for stimulating demand.”