Queensland Health has confirmed changes to the border bubble for people in the Tweed and Byron Shires.
It comes after the regions were plunged into a seven-day lockdown after an infected person travelled to the north coast from Sydney.
Both Tweed and Byron will become part of the restricted border zone from 1am on Wednesday morning.
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That means people from those areas will only be allowed to cross the border for very limited essential reasons.
Queensland residents returning from those two areas will only be allowed back into the state if they have been there for essential reasons.
Queensland Health is also urging anyone in Queensland who has been in the Tweed or Byron in the last 14 days to get tested if they start developing symptoms.
Officials say they will continue to monitor the situation and review restrictions as things evolve.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says he feels sorry for businesses in the Tweed and on the southern Gold Coast because locals didn’t do anything wrong.
“It’s not their fault, with the lockdown.
“When the decision-makers go ‘well we’ve got to lock it down’, I would say to both state and federal governments to really open the chequebook and make sure that the businesses don’t come out the worst.
“Because they didn’t do anything wrong,” the Mayor said.
However, the lockdown and border closure go beyond just the Tweed, with hundreds, if not thousands of Gold Coast businesses now also without staff who live over the border.
“It’s heartbreaking, for the businesses down there, to go ‘am I going to have my livelihood next week? Am I going to be able to meet my bills?’
“That’s why that safety net needs to be there for them from the federal government.
“I look at this now and I say to everyone on the Gold Coast, get out there and vaccinate, let’s get our vaccination up to 80 per cent double jab, that way we can learn to live with covid,” Mr Tate said.
Everyone in the Tweed, Byron and Kempsey areas are now also being urged to keep an eye on the list of exposure sites, which is expected to be updated throughout today.
Authorities say the infected person travelled to multiple locations, including shops, restaurants and pubs.
Queensland police will now rapidly change procedures at the border, to ensure that no one crosses without the right exemptions.
Related article: Tweed plunged into snap 7 day lockdown from tonight
Essential Reasons for LGAs in the Restricted Border Zone:
- to get food or other essential goods or services for the personal needs of the household or other household purposes, which cannot reasonably be obtained within New South Wales; or
- to get medical care or supplies or other health care services, including a scheduled COVID-19 vaccination (you cannot enter for a walk-in appointment), which cannot reasonably be obtained within New South Wales; or
- to comply with an order to attend or to give effect to a court or tribunal in person in the border zone; or
- to donate blood or blood products at a scheduled appointment at a blood collection centre in Queensland; or
- to perform essential work that cannot be done from home or provide emergency volunteering; or
- attend school or childcare – only for children of essential workers or vulnerable children. Essential workers can transport their children to attend face to face schooling or to attend a childcare facility; or
- provide assistance, care or support to a vulnerable person or family member or visit a terminally ill relative; or
- fulfil an obligation relating to shared parenting, child contact or contact between siblings; or
- in an emergency situation; or
- for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm, including domestic violence); or
- as directed by an emergency officer; or
- to follow an exemption you have been granted by the Chief Health Officer