Tears, smiles, hugs as Qld border reopens

About 6000 people are booked to fly into Brisbane airport from NSW and Victoria on Tuesday.
About 6000 people are booked to fly into Brisbane airport from NSW and Victoria on Tuesday.

Tears of joy have been shed as thousands of travellers arrived in Queensland after the state's border restrictions for Victoria and all of NSW were eased for the first time in months.

The Palaszczuk government lifted its COVID-19 virus hotspot declarations and travel restrictions for Victoria and Greater Sydney early on Tuesday morning.

Family and friends gathered at Brisbane Airport to welcome loved ones not seen since Victoria and NSW were declared hotspots in July and August respectively.

Southerners are expected to start flocking to the Sunshine State, with hopes it will lead to a much-needed jobs boom.

"Queensland's health-led economic recovery is set to really take off ... and with that will come more jobs for Queenslanders," Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

About 6000 people were booked to fly into Brisbane airport from NSW and Victoria on Tuesday, with numbers expected to soar in the coming days.

Virgin Australia will make more than 100,000 seats available to travellers from the two states before Christmas and the Qantas Group has scheduled 410 flights per week, Mr Miles says.

"Tourism industry sources tell me anecdotally they are already experiencing a significant uplift in activity, with one booking agent reporting a 300 per cent increase in the number of calls," Mr Miles said.

Tourists are expected to spend $3.5 billion in Queensland in the coming month, which Mr Miles said would lead to more businesses reopening and people finding employment.

Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said traffic had been flowing freely from northern NSW through the Gold Coast after the southern border checkpoint was opened at 1am.

"This has been a mammoth and complex operation. There's been well over a million vehicles intercepted since the commencement of our border restrictions," he said of the 250 days that the barriers had been in place.

People quarantining in Queensland hotels after arriving from the two former hotspots are set to be released.

"Across the state, there's 763 of them. They're eligible for release today provided they undergo a negative COVID test," Superintendent Wheeler said.

Police will continue to randomly intercept vehicles crossing the border to check if any travellers from Greater Adelaide are trying to sneak into Queensland.

Travellers from that hotspot will have to wait another week to learn if a welcome mat will be thrown out to them.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said on Monday she needed more time to assess the ongoing Adelaide virus cluster, that has now grown to 33 people.

Queensland recorded no new virus cases on Tuesday, with 10 remaining active.

Australian Associated Press