Queensland’s decision to slam the border shut to NSW has come under fire after social media users noted the announcement came just one day after the remaining NRL contingent arrived in the state.
Acting Premier Steven Miles announced as of 1am on Friday, due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the southern state, NSW residents would be barred from entering Queensland unless they had an exemption.
Players from 12 NRL teams, including nine from Sydney, were relocated to dedicated hubs in Queensland via charter flights last week to play out the rest of the season.
Their families were given the green light to join them on Monday night and arrived on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
This includes families who live in locked-down local government areas where any travel outside those areas is banned.
Angry Twitter users have slammed the Queensland government for their “double standards”.
“Palaszczuk waited until NRL family were in QLD before closing the border. We are not stupid!” one user said.
“So the day after the NRL wags and families arrive the border finally closes. Classy move,” another wrote.
“Surprisingly the QLD/NSW border is now shut after all the NRL and AFL players along with the WAGS have arrived … but they aren’t getting preferential treatment!” wrote another.
Players and staff from the nine Sydney clubs, as well as Newcastle, Melbourne and Canberra, relocated to hubs in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast last Wednesday.
The families were originally due to travel to Queensland last Saturday, but many of the scheduled flights were cancelled due to the worsening Covid-19 outbreak in Greater Sydney.
The NRL’s application to relocate the Sydney-based families to the Gold Coast was approved on Monday night by the Queensland government.
Now that they have arrived, the group will undergo 14 days quarantine at an NRL-managed family hub in Surfers Paradise before relocating to club hotels.
The Dragons, Sharks and Tigers are based in Brisbane, the Knights, Panthers, Roosters and Sea Eagles are on the Sunshine Coast, and the Bulldogs, Eels, Rabbitohs, Raiders and Warriors are on the Gold Coast.
More than 1200 cases have been linked to the latest Sydney outbreak, but the regional areas of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne are now locked down as well.
Earlier this month, Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would not close the borders unless the situation worsened outside locked-down Greater Sydney.
Mr Miles has been contacted for comment.