Queenslanders in interstate COVID-19 hotspots to return as hotel quarantine resumes

Stranded Queenslanders will be allowed to return home from today as a temporary pause on hotel quarantine comes to an end.
Hundreds of residents had been trapped in New South Wales and other coronavirus hotspots, unable to make the journey back in to Queensland after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a snap ban on hotel quarantine to ease pressure on the system.

The reopening of hotel quarantine comes one day after separated families living in border towns reunited on Father’s Day despite being kept apart by a plastic barricade.

Families living in border towns in Queensland and New South Wales reunited at the border on Father’s Day despite being separated by a plastic barricade. (Nine News)

Around 600 people will begin entering Queensland from today and that will be gradually increased in the coming days and weeks.

On Saturday 50 rooms in the hotel quarantine system reopened to welcome back priority cases, including those relocating to the state.

The Queensland government had been criticised for allowing NRL families into the state while other interstate hotspot arrivals – including residents – had been paused.

Queensland Police stop vehicles on the Queensland border August 20, 2021 in Coolangatta, Australia. (Getty)

“It shouldn’t have happened when we had the reduction happening in our hotels,” she said.

“Queenslanders could see that in the light of when we were actually trying to reduce the number of people coming in, it was not the right look, I accept that.”

Yesterday, there were heartbreaking scenes at the NSW-Queensland border as separated families living in border towns came together to celebrate Father’s Day.

With an orange plastic barricade between them, families brought picnics to spend some time together as police tried to encourage social distancing.

The Premier has said the border won’t be relaxed until vaccinations increase.
Families living in border towns in Queensland and New South Wales reunited at the border on Father’s Day. (Nine News)

Queensland currently has the lowest vaccination rates in the country with just 53.1 per cent of the adult population having had their first dose.

Ms Palaszczuk said authorities are not concerned and have deemed the woman to be of “low risk”.

The four-year-old girl, who lives in the Beenleigh area, tested positive after a 46-year-old Logan truck driver, believed to be a close contact, tested positive earlier in the week.

An orange barricade didn’t stop families from reuniting at the border yesterday. (Nine News)

The girl is the daughter of an administrative officer who works in the same area of the truck company’s headquarters and is a family friend of the truck driver.

A BP service station in Archerfield has been identified as a close contact site, with those in the immediate area and Queensland more broadly urged to seek testing should symptoms arise.

There are now a total of 16 active cases of COVID-19 across the state.

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