Queensland is preparing to welcome back interstate tourists, with the countdown on to the border reopening at midday.
We’re being told to expect lengthy cues of vehicles filing into the state, with western borders already packed for hours.
On the Gold Coast, locals report taking around 20 minutes to cross around 6.00am, which was usually a clear time for traffic.
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But it’s expected to be much longer once midday comes, with fears the M1 will be choked with cues.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Channel 9 she knows it will be a struggle at first, but we have to protect the health of Queenslanders.
“We want to keep the sunshine state exactly the way it has been – and that’s COVID FREE.
“So can I say to anyone that is coming into Queensland, if you feel sick, you must get tested immediately,” the Premier said.
There are are couple of new rules that everyone needs to be aware of, with new border declaration passes coming into effect.
They have to be re-downloaded every seven days for regular crosses, declaring that the person hasn’t been to Victoria in the last two weeks.
While the person will also commit to being tested for coronavirus if they show any symptoms once in Queensland.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young told myGC that traffic at the borders will be bad for a couple of days while everyone gets used to the changes.
“We think that will settle over the next few days which will be good.
“It’s just everyone getting used to this new process.
“So anyone, coming into Queensland from anywhere will need to make sure that they’ve filled out a border declaration pass, and they need to do that every seven days,” Doctor Young said.
There will also be more pop-up testing clinics in areas that will see a higher amount of tourists passing through, including here on the Gold Coast.
Doctor Young says everyone should be keeping an close eye on their health, continue social distancing, and get tested if they show any symptoms.
“I think it’s really really important that everyone continues to be on high alert. This pandemic is nowhere near over, we’ve got a long long way to go.
“So it’s really important that if anyone develops any symptoms at any time, that they just go and get tested.
“It’s a very simple, quick test, and they’ll get the result in the following 24-48 hours. And it’s the most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves and our families and our communities.
“It’s really critical, people have just got to commit that they get tested as soon as they have any symptoms,” Doctor Young said.
Police have released the following list of critical information regarding today’s changes.
From 12 noon, 10 July 2020
- The Queensland Government will implement enhanced border control measures, including border passes and identification screening.
- From 10 July 2020, any person travelling from New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory may enter Queensland subject to completing and signing a border declaration and undertaking to present for a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms.
- Any person who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot during the past 14 days, including Victoria, must not enter Queensland.
The only exceptions (and subject to strict conditions), are:
• A Queensland resident returning home who will be subject to government directed quarantine
• A person entering to perform an essential activity listed in the Chief Health Officer’s Border Direction
• A person listed in other limited categories as listed in the border direction
To download a new border declaration, click here.