SHUT OUT: Queensland borders will shut to travellers from NSW and the ACT from Saturday, August 8. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
SHUT OUT: Queensland borders will shut to travellers from NSW and the ACT from Saturday, August 8. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

‘Bit of a blindside’: Businesses react to new border ban

WARWICK businesses are bracing for the fallout from the State Government’s snap decision to shut Queensland’s borders to NSW.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this morning announced borders will close to travellers from NSW and the ACT from 1am on Saturday, August 8 to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Essential travellers such as truck drivers will be excluded from the ban, and all Queenslanders returning to their home state must quarantine in a hotel for two weeks.

For McNevin’s Warwick Motel manager Debbie Bender, the shock announcement could hurt an accommodation sector already struggling with the loss of major tourism and sporting events.

“We just don’t know how we’re going to move forward and how long the borders are going to be shut for, so there’s no real outlook for us, or at least not one we can predict,” Mrs Bender said.

“We’ve been fully booked for months throughout the rodeo, so I imagine those cancellations are going to start trickling through as well.

“It’s is disheartening to hear the NSW borders are going to lose, and know some of the people who were going to travel to us and spread the love are going to be stopped from doing that.”

With Morgan Park Raceway set for its second Queensland Sprint Series meet this weekend, events manager Callum Espie said the border ban had already forced 15 competitors to drop out.

“Our goal is always 100 competitors, and we were at 90, so we weren’t doing too badly,” Mr Espie said.

“With the border closing, we’re definitely going to have less people than we would like, but we’re still going to have an awesome event and keep operating within Queensland for as long as we can.

“We’re definitely a little bit less optimistic about the rest of the season today, but honestly I think it’ll be fine – we’ll just keep going, playing it by ear, and hope Queenslanders come to race in Warwick.”

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