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Queensland opens its border to New Zealand

Queensland border open to New Zealand
Photo: Qld opens its border to New Zealand
New Zealand residents will be able to enter Queensland without undergoing quarantine from Saturday as the state prepares to allow free flowing travel with.

Queensland border will open to New Zealand and all of Australia in a further easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says NZ residents will be allowed in after their country went 28 days without a case of community transmission of COVID-19.

New Zealanders can freely enter Queensland without having to quarantine from 1am on Saturday.

"We will be welcoming people from New Zealand into Queensland, so that is of course the one way travel for New Zealanders coming in, and I know that is going to mean so much to families that have been missing loved ones for such a long time," Ms Palaszczuk told Seven's Sunrise program on Friday.
There were more than 200,000 Kiwis living in Queensland in the 2016 census, making them the largest group of foreign-born residents in the state.

While NZ visitors can enter the state freely, they will still have to go into managed isolation or quarantine when they return home.

Ms Palaszczuk is optimistic the NZ government will soon deem it safe enough to remove mandatory quarantine requirements for arrivals from Australia.

"Hopefully in the not too distant future the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will actually stop that inbound quarantine, which means it will be free-flowing between the two," she said.

"So fingers crossed that is the next step."

The premier denied the decision had been made at the behest of industry groups, saying it was based on health advice alone.

The state is also set to open to Adelaide from 1am on Saturday meaning all Australians will be able to freely enter Queensland for the first time since March.

With the borders open, Ms Palaszczuk expects to see an uptick in tourism bookings in the lead-up to Christmas.

"People from around the nation are thinking, 'Where should we go on our holidays?' and they are booking Queensland," she told ABC News 24.

"And of course all the way up the coast from the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, it is getting pretty packed right up to the Whitsundays and Cairns.

"So there is still spaces in Cairns and Port Douglas if people are still thinking 'where else can we go for our summer break'."

When asked about labour shortages in the state's fruit and vegetable farms, she confirmed NZ residents will be able to enter Queensland to work as well.

Ms Palaszczuk, who is in Canberra for national cabinet on Friday, said she was concerned about international students returning to Australia while many Australians were still stranded overseas.

She said returning Australians should be the priority, but all students should have to undergo quarantine.

"I would not like to see students allowed in to stay at dormitories on campuses, I think that is a huge risk not just to the students, but a huge risk to the Australian population," the premier told ABC News 24.

Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland did not have scope to increase quarantine capacity after a 300-place increase to 1300 over the past month.

She said quarantine should not be stretched as it is the last line of defence against community transmission of coronavirus.

"We can take 10 per cent buffer either side, so in some cases it may be over 1300, but we really need to keep to that cap," she said.

Queensland will also allow socially-distanced dancing at indoor venues from 1am on Monday.

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