State-wide travel is back on the table in Queensland and New South Wales following an easing of coronavirus restrictions.
From midday on Monday, Queenslanders will be able to travel almost anywhere in the state after Stage Two restrictions were brought forward nearly two weeks by the state government.
The only exception is visiting Indigenous communities, where a travel ban will remain in place to protect vulnerable people in remote areas.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was “opening the doors” to tourism and encouraged people to take trips to places they had never been before within Queensland’s “travel bubble”.
The state’s borders will, however, remain closed until at least July despite just five active COVID-19 cases throughout Queensland.
“Let me make it very clear, the border will remain closed for the month of June,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.
In neighbouring NSW, regional travel will also open up again on Monday, allowing families to holiday anywhere in the state.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the easing of restrictions was perhaps “the most difficult decision our government has taken”.
“It doesn’t take away with how dangerous the virus is, how contagious it is, and how volatile the situation is,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Sunday.
NSW has reported three new infections, all linked to travellers in hotel quarantine.
From Monday, people in Canberra will be allowed to travel to NSW for an interstate holiday.
Coronavirus cases remain low by global standards at some 7180 nationwide, with 6614 recovering.
Only three people are in intensive care at the moment, while the death toll remains at 103.
Deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said the lifting of restrictions is a balancing act between the socio-economic benefit from their removal and the public health risk.
“We’re taking a deliberately safe and cautious approach,” Professor Coatsworth told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.