The state government has confirmed work is underway to streamline the border pass process in a bid to reduce the expected traffic nightmare at checkpoints when borders reopen on December 17.
Anyone wanting to enter Queensland from a hotspot will be required to be double vaccinated and test negative before being allowed in.
People will be able to upload their vaccination status and negative test result when they apply for a border pass.
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It’s estimated around 40,000 vehicles a day will enter Queensland when borders reopen, but it’s hoped the new system will prevent the need for Police to stop and check every single vehicle.
“That will be really important because the moment that border pass is issued that’s verification that they’ve met those two criteria so it’s really just about showing the border pass, not having to show the documents that sit behind that,” Health Minister Yvette D’ath says.
“It’s going to be important that we still have a system that we can be confident that the cars all coming across the border are meeting that requirement and have the valid pass until we get to that 90 per cent mark.”
Meantime, the Health Minister has refused to budge on the rule that currently forces people granted an exemption to come into Queensland from hotspots to fly into the state before undertaking quarantine.
Thousands of people are stuck over the border with their cars but have been told they need to travel to Sydney and catch a flight to Brisbane.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has described the rule as ‘rubbish’ and lacking ‘commonsense’.
“I have a constituent who is northern New South Wales they are 10 minutes away from the border, they can drive home in an hour. They can hop in their car and drive home, they don’t have to see anyone they can then quarantine,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“What the government is saying for them to be part of the (home quarantine) trial they have to go to Sydney and hop on a plane with several hundred other people, fly to Brisbane, then get in a vehicle, go back to home on the Gold Coast then pay a tow truck to bring their car home.
“You can’t mean to tell me that’s safer than just driving home. So let’s cut this rubbish out. That’s not about safety that’s about political imagery.”
But Ms D’ath insists the rule is in place for a reason.
“I appreciate they’re in their cars but we cannot open up to people driving all the way through the state. They’re Queenslanders who have taken their vehicles interstate, the rules have been very clear since we went into hotspots and this has been the rule since the start of the year.”
Queensland has recorded no new cases either in the community or in hotel quarantine in the last 24 hours.
However, an alert has been issued for Goondiwindi after an interstate truck driver tested positive.
The truckie was only in Queensland for one day on Sunday and had stopped at the Goondiwindi truck stop before leaving the state.
Queensland’s vaccination rate has now reached 78.21 per cent first dose and 64.71 per cent second dose.
The state government has announced an initiative with Clubs Queensland that will see people getting their first jab offered a $10 voucher to redeem on meals at their local club.
However, a list of participating clubs released on social media by the Premier show no Gold Coast clubs are taking part.