CENTRAL HUB: Quaffers on Storm King owners were asked to consider if they would house anyone crossing the border needing to quarantine.
CENTRAL HUB: Quaffers on Storm King owners were asked to consider if they would house anyone crossing the border needing to quarantine.

Granite Belt considered as quarantine hub

MOTELS across the Granite Belt were considered as a hub for quarantining border crossers who do not hold the required coronavirus permits.

Businesses were first made aware of the decision last week, after calls from police.

Quaffers Accommodation owner Debbie Haley said the popularity of the region had worked in its favour, with many businesses booked out for months.

"The police rung the other night and wanted to know if we would be able to put people up that needed to go into quarantine," she said.

"But we're fully booked and we can't do it, and everyone in the area is the same.

"We're booked up until the end of August - it's high season, you can't cancel bookings and certainly wouldn't be doing anything like that."

It comes after the Queensland Government announced it would reopen borders to interstate travellers, excluding Victorian residents, on Friday July 10.

Ms Haley said the regulations hotels had to follow when accommodating quarantine guests made it easy to remain open only to the public.

"We wouldn't be able to have any other guests anyway, it can only be quarantine guests," she said.

"If you only have one family in here, that sort of limits your ability to make some money.

"They've got to pay an expense, whereas before the government were putting you up.

"But two weeks is a long time and all the extra work that's involved with cleaning and sanitising everything, especially for someone in quarantine, I think it would be a lot more work."

While there is only one active case of the virus in the state, Ms Haley said the decision to accommodate those needing quarantine was entirely up to individual businesses.

"It was a voluntary thing, it wasn't like they were sequestering the town," she said.

"I think the majority of people will do the right thing, or I hope they will.

"It's not only people doing the wrong thing, it's the people who do have to come over for some reason, you have to consider it and put yourself in their shoes."

As tourism picks up across the Granite Belt, Ms Haley believes neighbouring towns would be next in line for those seeking accommodation.

"I don't think we are in our own little bubble anymore, we've been inundated with tourists, which is brilliant," she said.

"Stanthorpe is close to the border; they were just inquiring. They'll go to Warwick or Toowoomba, I think.

"I don't think it'll happen in the (Granite Belt) area just because we are booked."