The Sunshine State closed its border to the Victorian capital several weeks back in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that led to the Winton SuperSprint being postponed.
The Northern Territory did likewise, forcing the six Melbourne-based teams into exile in New South Wales for two weeks in the lead-up to last weekend’s Darwin Triple Crown.
The Melbourne teams finally travelled home on Sunday night and Monday, although it wasn’t clear if they would need to leave again tomorrow to ensure they can get into Queensland in time for the Townsville 500 in just over a fortnight.
However that now won’t be necessary, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing today that the border to Melbourne will re-open this Friday.
“From 1am Friday 25 June, Greater Melbourne will no longer be declared a hotspot,” Palaszczuk posted on social media.
“Travellers from Victoria must complete a Queensland Travel Declaration but will not be required to hotel quarantine.”
While Melbourne is looking good, with no new community cases of COVID-19 in the past two days, there are worrying signs for Sydney.
The New South Wales capital confirmed there were 10 new cases linked to a cluster originating from Bondi today, one of which was a mystery case with no known chain of transmission.
Queensland hasn’t closed its borders to Greater Sydney yet, however it has Palaszczuk says “Queenslanders planning travel to New South Wales are strongly advised to reconsider their need to travel”.
Team Sydney is the only of the 11 squads based in the Harbour City, but had already decided to work from the Tekno factory on the Gold Coast between the Darwin and Townsville rounds to cut down travel time for the transporter.
That means the team will remain in Queensland until the Townsville weekend.
Supercars is also headquartered in Sydney, although much of the operational staff is Gold Coast-based, while key Supercars Media people were set to head straight to Queensland rather than return to their Sydney base even before today’s boost in cases.
Brad Jones Racing is based in New South Wales, but well outside the Greater Sydney area, which, based on recent hotspot declarations from Queensland, means there shouldn’t be any issues when it comes to travelling north.