Border residents warned to prepare to swap sides ahead of further restrictions

Those living on the Queensland and New South Wales border are being warned to prepare for a full scale border lock down, and to put plans in place now.

It comes after New South Wales and the ACT were added to our list of hotspots over the weekend – banning them from coming north.

A border bubble has been put into place, for residents on either side that have to cross for work or other essential services.


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On Monday, health authorities urged those living in either the Tweed region or the Gold Coast region to start planning in case the border has to close further.

“I think every single person who lives in one of those border communities, in either Queensland or New South Wales, needs to think ‘what will I do, what will my family do?’ if the border becomes closed because there are cases spreading north from Sydney,” Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said.

“At the moment the most northern cases are in Newcastle, and we’re keeping a very close eye on whether there are cases coming further north – and they will because there is free movement within New South Wales,” she added.

Further lockdown measures at the border would mean chaos for the Coolangatta/Tweed community, which has already struggled to deal with changing restrictions at checkpoints over the last few months.

But current exemptions wouldn’t be granted under a full scale lockdown, forcing locals to rethink work arrangements, school arrangements, and in extreme cases living arrangements.

Doctor Young says she’s already heard of some great examples of locals adapting to the current ban on NSW and ACT residents, and encourages more people to consider what would come next.

“I’ve already seen great examples of where people have managed it, they’ve swapped their lives.

“So at the moment, they live one side work the other, and a friend does the opposite, they’re now moving so they can remain in one or the other,” Doctor Young said.

“So it is really important that all those people who live along our border, whether in Queensland or in New South Wales – think ‘what is the next step’.

“If we have to close the border to everyone in New South Wales, so that there are no exemptions for people who live in those border zones who work or go to school in Queensland, if we have to close, then what will people do?” she said.

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