Queensland will open its border to visitors from New Zealand from Saturday, in a further easing of coronavirus restrictions.
But there’s a catch – the NZ government still won’t allow Australians to visit the land of the long white cloud.
NZ’s Home Affairs website states: “If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident you cannot leave Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions unless you have an exemption.
“You will be subject to New Zealand entry requirements.”
New Zealand was the Sunshine Coast’s largest international market with 84,000 Kiwis coming across the ditch.
Visit Sunshine Coast Industry & Membership Development Manager Andrew Fairbairn said many people on the Coast had residents in New Zealand.
“This is a positive step in the right direction and we anticipate that those separated from friends or relatives will be first New Zealand visitors to return to the Sunshine Coast and is great timing for the upcoming holiday period,” said Mr Fairburn.
“We recognise this is a first stage and are hopeful that travel arrangements will be expanded further over time.
Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk, who’s in Canberra for Friday morning’s national cabinet meeting, said the decision was made on the advice of the state’s chief health officer.
“Jeannette Young advised me late last night that New Zealand is good to go,” she told Nine’s Today show.
“We are hoping that eventually New Zealand will not have to do that hotel quarantine upon return, and then there would be free-flowing movement between the two (jurisdictions).”