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Queenslanders warned: Get out of Melbourne by Friday or pay the price

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Queenslanders in Victoria have until noon Friday to return home, otherwise they risk footing a “costly” bill to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks at their own expense.

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The Queensland Government is calling for all Queenslanders currently in Victoria to immediately return home to avoid footing a hefty hotel quarantine bill.

The call came as another 77 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Victoria, with 415 active cases in the state.

Of the new cases, 13 are linked to outbreaks, 37 detected through routine testing, none are in hotel quarantine and 27 are under investigation.

There are now 20 patients in hospital, including four in intensive care.

At noon on Friday, Queensland will enter its third stage of easing coronavirus restrictions, which have been brought forward from the middle of next month.

It’s also when Queensland dials up its quarantine arrangements for those travelling into the state from Victoria.

As of noon on Friday, Queenslanders returning from Victoria will be forced to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks at their own expense, rather than isolating in the comfort of their own home.

“We’re calling on Queenslanders still there to come home as soon as possible,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

“It’s safer here — we’ve had one case in almost two weeks and that was acquired overseas.

“If you come back from Greater Melbourne before lunchtime Friday, you will still have to quarantine at home for two weeks but you won’t have to pay for it.

“After Friday, you will have to quarantine in a hotel and pay if you come back from anywhere in Victoria.”

‘Time to pay their own way’

The change in quarantine requirements comes as the Victorian Government imposes lockdowns on certain suburbs.

It even flagged the possibility of another statewide lockdown if coronavirus outbreaks in the state could not be contained.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the Government has moved to make people pay for their own quarantine to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

“Since the quarantine direction came into place on March 28, we have spent more than $20 million accommodating more than 8000 people in quarantine,” Young said.

“The general quarantine direction has been in place for almost three months and it’s well publicised so now is an appropriate time for people to pay their own way.”

Young said a hardship scheme would be in place to help vulnerable people and people experiencing financial difficulties.

Queensland’s borders reopen to all other states and territories on July 10.

– ABC / Tim Swanston

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