Border threat to Townsville Supercars continues

The Townsville Supercars round continues to be threatened by border controls as Queensland extends its ban on travellers from Melbourne.

The Sunshine State slammed its borders closed to Victorians late last month due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.

The restrictions have since eased, with regional Victoria no longer considered a hotspot, however travel from Greater Melbourne is still effectively banned.

And while the outbreak looks to be under control, Victoria recording zero new community cases today, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has still decided to extend the Melbourne restrictions for another seven days until June 24.

That puts pressure on the Townsville Supercars event, set to take place from July 9-11, given six of the 11 teams are based in Melbourne.

Given Supercars has assured the Melbourne teams they can return home after this weekend's Darwin Triple Crown, following a two-week exile in New South Wales, the opening of the border could be critical to the Townsville event going ahead as planned.

The series will effectively need to make a firm decision by June 22 or 23 on whether it rolls the dice on the border opening or takes action on relocating the affected teams once again.

That would allow the two weeks for the Melbourne teams to isolate in New South Wales and then enter Queensland in time to set up for the race meeting.

Even that has an added element of complication now, with two new COVID-19 cases showing up in New South Wales in the last day.

Queensland hasn't closed its border to NSW, but has brought in a travel declaration system and warned its residents against travelling to the Greater Sydney area.

Another option for Supercars would be to postpone the Townsville event, although it would have to be a short-term postponement given its a street circuit and the build is already well underway.

Single-week postponements were used for Darwin last year and Symmons Plains this year.

"We are monitoring the [Queensland border] situation and will adhere to all government COVID requirements," said a Supercars spokesperson.

"For now we are looking forward to getting to Darwin for a great weekend of racing."

 
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