NSW residents expected to fly ‘to Bali before Broome’ as Dominic Perrottet removes quarantine for overseas arrivals
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet has said residents of NSW will be able to travel abroad before traveling between states, as Queensland and Washington state refuse to set a date for their borders to reopen.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet has scheduled NSW residents to travel to “Bali before Broome” after announcing that the quarantine will be lifted for fully vaccinated international arrivals in a matter of weeks.
“I think the people of NSW will fly to Bali before Broome,” Perrottet said Friday.
“I want to open NSW to the world. We have to reach out to the world. We cannot live here in a hermit kingdom.
“We need to open up, and today’s decision is important, but it’s the right one to connect New South Wales globally.”
The Prime Minister’s comments come as the governments of Western Australia and Queensland refuse to release a plan to reopen their borders to interstate travelers.
From November 1, residents of NSW will be allowed to return from overseas travel without having to self-quarantine, but will not be allowed to enter Queensland without a 14-day quarantine.
Asked when the Queensland border would open, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said no discussion could take place until the state’s vaccination rate improves.
“If NSW is going to let in international arrivals without quarantine from November 1, we have no time to waste, this virus is coming, it’s coming to Queensland,” Ms. D’Ath said.
“We can’t talk about the plan and the opening if the Queenslanders don’t come out and get the shots in droves.”
Earlier in the week, Ms. D’Ath hinted that the border could be reopened in “five to six weeks,” but no date has been set.
“If anyone wants a target, the target will be protected within the next five to six weeks,” Ms. D’Ath said.
“It’s your mission, to protect you and it helps protect our entire community and allows us to open up.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has kept quiet when asked for a reopening date, only saying the border will reopen when everyone has a chance to get vaccinated.
“We want to make sure that every eligible Queenslander has the opportunity to be vaccinated,” she said.
“It is so important that people get vaccinated. The sooner people get vaccinated, the better their lives will be. “
Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan also declined to set a date or the state border to reopen, but said on Thursday it would take place next year.
“I expect, as far as NSW and Victoria are concerned, it will be next year and that is based on the situation in those states and the fact that we have to reach very, very high levels of vaccination before that we can do it., “he said.
Western Australia has classified the two NSWs as an “extreme risk” jurisdiction, meaning that exemptions are only granted in limited circumstances for those performing “Commonwealth, State and specialist functions”.
Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said while it was good that NSW announced its plan to reopen international borders, Victoria would stick to the national plan.
“Of course NSW… Victoria is on the National Cabinet’s plan to reopen international borders,” he said on Friday.
“What NSW is doing is business for them. We wish them every success.”
Defense Minister Peter Dutton on Thursday criticized the Queensland government for failing to release a plan to reopen.
“It is absolutely safe for Queensland to open up once the vaccination rate reaches 70, then 80%,” Mr Dutton told Ray Hadley of 2GB.
Mr Dutton said the prospect of Australians traveling abroad rather than in the region would be a “travesty” for tourism operators in Australia.
“It would be an absolutely shameful parody… these are people who have every last dollar at stake and this is one last roll of the dice for them,” he said.
“If they see people flying from Sydney and Melbourne to places like Fiji and Vanuatu when they should come to the Gold Coast, people will rightfully be very angry.”