Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison

PM warns QLDers they aren't safe from virus

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Queensland cannot just put up hard borders again and think "we can all shake hands and hug up here".

Mr Morrison said it was up to states to choose what protections they put in place but borders were not a substitute for having a strong public health response.

"You can't just put the border up and think 'Oh, we'll be fine back here, we don't have to social distance, we don't have to be careful about how we engage in workplaces, we can all shake hands and hug up here'," he told 2GB.

"You can't, you've still got to do all those things."

He said contract tracing capability was vital to staying on top of the pandemic and praised the Queensland Government's record in that area.

"There's all these protections and ones not a substitute for another," he said.

He said any restrictions had a "very real economic impact" so governments had to be transparent about the medical advice underpinning their decisions.

The Prime Minister has also weighed into the Queensland Government's bungled handling of a private security contractor who had been working at the Australian Embassy in Afghanistan.

The man entered quarantine in Sydney but received an exemption from the Queensland Government after claiming to be a consular official.

Last Friday he took a Jetstar flight to the Sunshine Coast. before driving home to Toowoomba. He later tested positive for coronavirus and Queensland Health officials believe he was infectious during the flight.

Mr Morrison said there was a Commonwealth arrangement for returning diplomats but it only allowed them to go directly into a private vehicle and return to Canberra to go into self-isolation in their homes.

"What happened with this was Queensland gave an exemption for people to go and get on a plane out to the Sunshine Coast and then go to Toowoomba, that's got nothing to do with any arrangements that the Federal Government has," he told 2GB

"That's just what happened."

The Queensland Government, which has been under mounting pressure over its handling of the case, had described the arrangement for diplomats as a "loophole".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had flagged raising the issue at National Cabinet on Friday but on Tuesday night unilaterally banned exemptions from hotel quarantine for diplomatic or consular officials.