EDITORIAL: Don’t make southern visitors feel like pariahs
AT A certain point, we're going to have to start trusting tourists again.
It certainly is a dilemma we find ourselves in - just as borders reopen, southern states start recording virus spikes again.
The decision to keep strict rules in place around visitors from Victoria from entering Queensland was the right one.
Time will tell if restrictions on NSW visitors tighten further after hot spots were declared.
The situation as it stands, however, is tourists are flocking back to the Fraser Coast, bringing much needed custom to our embattled local operators.
Sadly, an undercurrent of mistrust and animosity has emerged in certain online pockets as residents struggle to accept that maybe, just maybe, authorities know what they're doing in letting people back in.
Make no mistake - this virus clearly spreads fast when rules aren't observed, as the situation in Victoria clearly demonstrates.
Queensland has, however, proved its ability to stop the spread of the virus by observing social distancing.
We have been rewarded with free movement throughout the state and we have cautiously welcomed visitors back.
Those visitors provide an essential boost to our economy and we need to ensure they feel welcome, not like pariahs.
This is a difficult, constantly changing situation and we are right to be cautious.
It's also fair to have trouble adjusting to the idea that tourists crossing the border is safe when we've been warned of the dangers for months.
When that caution crosses over into stubbornness and mistrust, however, we should check ourselves.