REVEALED: When NSW border will open to Victoria

 

Victorians could be allowed into NSW within three weeks.

The Daily Telegraph understands that one date being closely eyed by Premier Gladys Berejik­lian to lift border restrictions is November 23. That date would be four weeks after the end of the strict Melbourne lockdown.

The Premier has made increasingly confident statements about reopening the border to Victoria following the easing of Melbourne's strict lockdown.

On Monday, Ms Berejiklian foreshadowed a ­decision could be made as early as Wednesday, saying the border could come down in "weeks, not months".

Karen Cutriss from Queensland greets her daughter Shanae Andrews, whom she hasn’t seen since February. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Karen Cutriss from Queensland greets her daughter Shanae Andrews, whom she hasn’t seen since February. Picture: Nathan Edwards

The Premier has previously suggested a change to border restrictions was only likely after restrictions had been eased in Victoria for two weeks. She has identified ­November 9, when travel ­restrictions between metropolitan Melbourne and reg­ional Victoria are set to end, as the date where that two week 'clock' could start.

Victoria recorded its fourth straight day of no new community COVID cases and no deaths on Tuesday.

Ms Berejiklian's intention to ease border restrictions on November 23 is in contrast to the Queensland Premier's staunch policy of reviewing her state's border at the end of every month.

Following her re-election on Saturday, Annastacia Palaszczuk indicated that the policy would remain in place, meaning residents of Sydney and Victoria are to be locked out of Queensland until ­December.

 

Shanae Andrews says she cannot wait to spend Christmas with family. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Shanae Andrews says she cannot wait to spend Christmas with family. Picture: Nathan Edwards

 

At 1am Tuesday a relaxation of the Sunshine State's strict border rules allowed residents from regional NSW to mix with Queenslanders.

That led to emotional border reunions, like that ­between mum Karen Cutriss and daughter Shanae And­rews who hugged yesterday for the first time in nine months when they were reunited at Ballina airport.

Wiping her tears away Ms Cutriss told her 29-year-old construction worker daughter: "Welcome home darling."

Ms Andrews is moving from the Sydney CBD back home to Redland outside Brisbane, so will holiday in Ballina for two weeks before she can cross the border without needing to quarantine.

"I found COVID in Sydney really tough without family and it really made me ­appreciate and want to be with them," she said, hugging her mother.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Brissie and being home for Christmas. "My family means the world to me. I had hoped the border would open earlier so I could come home sooner but I'm here now and it's great to see mum."

 

Mel Noeltel meets her mother in law Patricia Quealy at Ballina Airport. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Mel Noeltel meets her mother in law Patricia Quealy at Ballina Airport. Picture: Nathan Edwards

 

Mrs Cutriss said: "My son is in New Zealand, God knows when I'm going see him next. To have at least one of them back for Christmas is a godsend."

Grandmother Patricia Quealey also fought back tears when she glimpsed her daughter-in-law Mel Noetel at Ballina airport.

The family will holiday at a resort in Kingscliff for several days, catching up on news and family.

"As soon as I heard the ­rumour mill that the travel bubble allowing people from Queensland into NSW might happen, I booked my flight," said psychologist Mrs Quealey, 70, from Sydney's Lower North Shore.

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is hoping to have Victorians back in NSW within weeks. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is hoping to have Victorians back in NSW within weeks. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

 

More than 150,000 more people living in northern NSW can now move freely without needing to isolate.

Anyone in the border zone can now enter Queensland for any purpose and those living outside the border bubble must apply for a border pass through the Government.

With the border allowing Queenslanders into NSW, holiday bookings at NRMA parks and resorts are up an average of 30 per cent compared to last year and local bars and hotels are full of ­patrons.

And bars and hotels are booked solidly bringing a welcome boost to national tourism.

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Originally published as Gladys hints at upcoming Victorian family reunions


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