No more lockdowns, says Qld health boss
Queenslanders can expect further outbreaks of COVID-19 as the borders reopen but should not panic nor fear going back into lockdown again, says the state's chief health officer.
The Sunshine State is welcoming NSW residents from as far south as Lismore, Glenn Innes and Casino after the easing of restrictions from October 1 with the government extending its COVID-19 line of demarcation beyond the Tweed River.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said as Queensland welcomes more visitors there will be a greater chance of positive coronavirus cases and community transmission being detected within the state.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed not to extend its line of demarcation beyond the northern rivers region until there is 28 days of no community transmission in NSW.
At the current rate, October 22 would be the earliest Queensland would consider reopening the state to all NSW residents.
"We also know now what to do if we do have a case, because we are going to get more cases - that's inevitable," Dr Young said.
"Across the world, there are well over 13 million cases and over a million deaths, so we will see cases coming to Queensland in the future, but we know how to manage them.
"We know what we need to do, so we can very rapidly respond but not have to close everything down as we had to do back in March, because we've now got those systems in place.
"That's a really good position for us to be in as we go into summer in Queensland."
She said respiratory diseases were also less likely to spread during summer months.
Her renewed confidence in handling coronavirus outbreaks comes as the Christmas festive season and holiday period are on the horizon.
Dr Young wanted organisers to have confidence that their events would proceed and for people to have the confidence to attend.
"As we move towards preparing for Christmas, people can have some surety for larger events, because we know a lot of people organise special events this time of year, whether it be fetes, carols … all sorts of things," she said.
"So people have some assurance that they can safely organise them in the future."
Reopening the borders was again not without issues.
A technical glitch made it difficult for eligible NSW residents to obtain a border pass on Thursday, leading to lengthy queues at checkpoints and motorists being urged to be patient.
It comes as no new cases were confirmed in the state overnight, with the total number of active cases in Queensland dropping to just four.
Authorities were on Thursday morning scrambling to fix the online application system as it was not recognising the seven NSW postcodes now permitted to travel into Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said police were "ironing out" the issues.
"People can still come to the border and show their driver's licence and they'll be processed through," she said.
"Our police have done a remarkable job."
Originally published as No more lockdowns, says Qld health boss