One of the States that has been strict on borders has seen the beginnings of an outbreak over the weekend.
It started in one of the worst places it could have – a youth detention centre.
That’s what sparked what is now a COVID-19 cluster in Queensland – just one worker who tested positive and forced hundreds of staff and inmates to be tested.
There are now 10 cases linked with that outbreak, bringing the State’s total to 18 as of Monday.
The outbreak has prompted additional measures and restrictions from the Queensland Government, including mask-wearing where social distancing cannot be followed and a limit on visitors allowed in a home.
Despite clamping down on some measures, the Queensland Government has relented on its border.
The State identified all of Victoria, NSW and the ACT as “COVID-19 hotspots”, with anyone from those areas needing to go into forced hotel quarantine, which they would have to pay for themselves.
But the restrictions have caused a suite of problems for border communities, especially regarding healthcare, education and agriculture.
It prompted the Prime Minister on Friday to call for a “clear definition” of what a COVID-19 hotspot actually was.
Queensland subsequently eased its restrictions for accessing health services for people coming out of hot spots.
But today the State went a step further and granted exemptions for farmers in NSW who have land in Queensland to be allowed into the State to check their livestock, to tend to their crops and return home.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Queensland had used “common sense”.
“The Queensland Government over the weekend has relented after calls from the Federal Government and from rural and regional Australia to listen, to understand us, what we do and how we do it,” he said.
But he said the changes “didn’t go far enough” on the health front.
“This is still silent with respect to health issues, about those – particularly in northern NSW that rely on Queensland medical services, to be able to get those when they require them.
“And I just say to the Queensland Government, I congratulate you but you’ve still forgotten one very important aspect of this: your fellow Australian. This is about your fellow Australians. This isn’t about your parochial borders that were put in place over 100 years ago, an arbitrary line that regional Australia have outgrown and evolved past.”
Watch: QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is providing an update regarding COVID-19.
The outbreak and spike in COVID-19 cases in Queensland couldn’t come at a worse time, with the AFL set to make their decision on which state will play host to the AFL Grand Final this season.
Also Related: It Can’t Be That Hard: Super Bowl Style AFL Grand Final
Up until now Queensland has been considered to front runner, however the COVID-19 cases could concern the AFL.
Feature image: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Further Perth and Australia COVID-19 news on SoPerth.com.au.