Victoria virus spike could keep Qld border shut



A SPIKE in COVID-19 cases in Victoria could delay the long-awaited opening of Queensland's borders, with health authorities monitoring the unfolding situation.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles told The Sunday Mail late yesterday that Queensland desperately wanted to avoid what was happening in its southern counterpart.

Twenty-five new cases of the virus were recorded in Victoria yesterday - up from 13 on Friday, 18 on Thursday and 21 on Wednesday.

The revelation comes after the LNP's push for Queensland's borders to reopen on July 1, with deputy leader Tim Mander yesterday stating the state had flattened the curve.

Mr Miles said that after working so hard to stop the spread of the virus, no one wanted to go backwards.

"It will be so much harder on businesses in the long run if we can't stick to our recovery plans because of further outbreaks," he said. "Queenslanders have done a good job, making many sacrifices, to keep our communities safe.

"This is a reminder that this pandemic is not over for us yet and we cannot afford to become complacent."

Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

No new cases were recorded in Queensland overnight on Friday, with just three active cases.

The Government has said it would reassess the border restrictions at the end of the month.

Fourteen of the new cases in Victoria were linked to existing outbreaks, including 10 to the Keilor Downs household outbreak, among them a primary school teacher.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lifting of restrictions would be halted until July 12, while some would be tightened.

Household gatherings will be reduced to five people until July 12. Outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 10.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs had been set to have 50 patrons at one time from tomorrow, up from 20, but that is also on hold until July 12.

And in bad news for the newly restarted AFL competition, Essendon speedster Conor McKenna has tested positive for COVID-19.




The Sunday Mail understands the season now faces another possible disruption, with investigations into how many teammates and club officials may be infected.

McKenna was due to return for the Bombers against Melbourne at the MCG today.

The match has been delayed until everyone in Essendon's bubble has been cleared of the virus, and is likely to be played in the next month.

McKenna, who served 14 days of quarantine after returning from Ireland this month, will be isolated.

There are fears Essendon's players could be forced to quarantine for 14 days after being exposed to McKenna at a training session yesterday.

Before news out of Victoria broke yesterday, Mr Mander said 30,000 protesters gathered two weeks ago and there had been no spike in infections in Queensland.

"The border closures are destroying around 1000 jobs a week in Queensland; it's time to reopen the borders," he said.

"It is safe, we have flattened the curve.

"There's no risk to open up the borders."

- Additional reporting Andi Yu, Annika Smethurst, Grant McArthur

Originally published as Victoria virus spike could keep Qld border shut