Only a handful of flights, priced up to $2100, are available between Sydney and airports across Queensland before the state’s border slams shut once again at 1am on Saturday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced all of Greater Sydney had been declared a COVID-19 hotspot and no one from any of the 34 local government areas was welcome from this weekend.

A criminal investigation has begun after two women who tested positive to COVID-19 returned to Brisbane from Melbourne, via Sydney, on Virgin Australia flights on July 21.

The border closure announcement today took NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian by surprise.

Asked at a press conference on Wednesday if she had been told about it beforehand, Ms Berejiklian replied: “No, nope, no, no.”

“It would have been nice if she (Ms Palaszczuk) told me,” she said.

Just hours after the announcement, affecting five million residents, airfares to the Sunshine State before Saturday had been all but snapped up.

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At the time of reporting on Wednesday afternoon, there were no flights from Sydney to Brisbane available with Virgin for the remainder of Wednesday or at all on Friday.

There were two fares available at $699 a pop travelling business class at 7am or 4pm on Thursday.

A number of destinations only had business class tickets at 7am on Thursday available including to Rockhampton for $1299, Mackay for $1399, Cairns for $1406.50, the Whitsundays for $1499 and Townsville for $1525.50.

The last fare to the Sunshine Coast at 9.20am on Friday went for $255.

There were no flights available to the Gold Coast until Saturday, no tickets to Bundaberg or Gladstone before Sunday and none to Hamilton Island until August 4.

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There was one flight with Qantas from Sydney to Brisbane available on Wednesday evening for $1145, travelling business class.

On Thursday, fares started at $519 travelling via Tamworth, $660 direct or $744 via Adelaide.

One flight from Sydney to Brisbane via Canberra for $1213 was labelled “price nearly gone”.

Remaining fares from Sydney to Brisbane on Friday ranged between $570 and $1493.

Qantas flights from Sydney to Cairns on Wednesday night were priced from $1487 to $2073, on Thursday from $823 to $2130 and on Friday from $1180 to $2058.

They were all considered “price nearly gone”.

Qantas ticket prices from Sydney to Cairns dropped to $243 on Saturday.

Airfares from Sydney to Townsville on Thursday ranged from $741 to $1784 and on Friday from $1070 to $1799. Qantas flights on the same route on Saturday are priced from $467.


By Wednesday afternoon, flights from Sydney to Brisbane had sold out aside from one $189 fare left at 6.05pm on Thursday.

Flights from Sydney to Cairns were also gone except for one $229 ticket at 2.30pm on Friday.

There were no flights available with Jetstar from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Hamilton Island or Mackay until Saturday.