End to NSW-Qld border stoush in sight

An end to restrictions at the NSW-Queensland border is in sight.
An end to restrictions at the NSW-Queensland border is in sight.

The border stoush between Queensland and NSW could soon be over, with an end date for restrictions announced as NSW recorded seven days without a locally transmitted case of COVID-19.

Four new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday - all returned travellers in hotel quarantine, including one from Victoria.

In the past 10 days, the state has recorded only one new locally acquired case.

NSW Health authorities are racing to track down passengers who shared a flight with a likely infectious traveller from Victoria.

The passenger travelled on Jetstar Flight JQ510 which left Melbourne at 11am on 27 September and tested positive on their second day in quarantine.

NSW Health says there is no ongoing risk to the public, and the majority of passengers on the flight are already undertaking mandatory hotel quarantine.

There were 11,343 tests reported in the latest 24-hour period compared with 13,072 the previous day.

NSW's streak of zero community transmission comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday announced NSW residents would soon be able to travel to the Sunshine State without quarantining, with the border set to reopen on November 1.

Ms Palaszczuk said the hard border would lift the day after Queenslanders head to the polls, provided NSW had had no mystery cases of COVID-19 in the previous 28 days.

The announcement follows months of tension between Ms Palaszczuk and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over the issue.

Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Friday she was frustrated to learn the announcement was just a reiteration of their existing policy.

"After having a second of excitement ... it was then brought to my attention that it is pretty much just a reiteration of the 28-day community transmission-free period," she said.

"It is frustrating for me that WA and Queensland keep lumping us in with Victoria."

"What happened in NSW is not what happened in Victoria. NSW was much closer to what was going on in WA and Queensland."

It comes as thousands of northern NSW residents have been welcomed back into Queensland.

From Thursday residents in the Byron Shire, Ballina, the city of Lismore, Richmond Valley including Casino and Evans Head, Glen Innes and 41 other NSW postcodes were added to the border bubble.

For months people from NSW coming to Queensland from outside the old border bubble were required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

More than 2.7 million coronavirus tests have been undertaken across the state, NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said but the community must not become complacent and keep testing rates high.

"COVID-19 may still be circulating in the community and we must all be vigilant," he said.

Australian Associated Press