National

Qld govt to reconsider ban on ACT visitors

By AAP Newswire

Queensland will consider reopening to ACT visitors by the end of the month, as the state's chief health officer looks at relaxing conditions to open the NSW border.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will hold talks with ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr about stepping up ID checks for people flying from Canberra to Queensland at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.

The premier says she wants to ensure people coming from the ACT haven't visited COVID-19 hotspots, but she's keen to ease restrictions on ACT travellers.

"We had concerns about lack of ID and we will look at that very closely to see what provisions can be put in place for the ACT around the end of the month," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Meanwhile, the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young is considering relaxing the criteria for reopening the border with NSW.

Queensland could decide to reopen if NSW reports 14 days without a case of community transmission of the virus, down from a current 28 days.

But Dr Young doesn't plan to rush a decision when border rules are reviewed at the end of the month.

"For a lot of people at home, it might seem like the pandemic is almost over, but in reality Monday was a record day worldwide for COVID-19 cases," she told AAP.

"We've all done so well to protect Queensland and we can't let our hard work and sacrifices go to waste by rushing a critical decision."

Under the current rules, Queensland's border is closed to visitors from NSW unless they live in an exempt border region or have an exemption to cross for economic or compassionate reasons.

All visitors from NSW, the ACT and Victoria now have to go into mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine upon arrival.

Queensland has no restrictions on visitors from South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

Ms Palaszczuk has also indicated that she is willing to accommodate a larger quota of returning Australians in hotel quarantine if there's capacity.

"I don't want families to be separated by very, very long distances overseas when they are isolated and when a lot of countries are still in lockdown," the premier said.

The government relaxed some internal restrictions on Wednesday after the state marked its fourth day without community transmissions of COVID-19.

It will now allow Gold Coast and Darling Downs residents to visit aged care homes and hospitals.

People living in those regions can also gather in groups of up to 30, up from 10 previously, without a COVID-19 safety plan.

Only 10 people are allowed to gather in Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan.

Just one new virus case has been recorded since Saturday and that person was already in hotel quarantine.

That gives "a sense of how we are getting on top of those clusters, particularly on the south side of Brisbane and the Ipswich area", Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

"It's very, very good work."

Dr Miles noted that while the government was lifting mandatory PPE requirements for hospital visitors on the Gold Coast and in the Darling Downs, individual hospitals will still have the final call.