QUEENSLAND Police have warned motorists to expect delays around the border on Monday as the checkpoints barriers are removed.
All of New South Wales is now welcome to travel into the Sunshine State after Greater Sydney ceased being a COVID-19 hot spot at 1am.
Works to remove the barriers and tents at the checkpoints around Coolangatta began this morning but will continue well into the evening.
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One northbound lane of the M1 will be closed from 7pm to remove the concrete barricading. Traffic will be diverted to the Gold Coast Highway during that time.
At 11pm, works will begin at the Gold Coast Highway checkpoint which will see traffic diverted to the M1.
Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler warns there will be some hold ups for travellers.
“We’ will see a little bit of inconvenience today just where we have to slow that traffic down,” he said.
Officers are hopeful this will be the last day they have to spend at the border but Chief Superintendent Wheeler said there was always a chance the checkpoints could come back into play again.
“The reality is we are in a pandemic. The new normal is a little bit of uncertainty,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone can give an ironclad guarantee on any future direction or any future decision.
“These decisions are made on medical advice, from the chief health officer and it is our job as the Queensland Police Service to provide the necessary support to Queensland health, the lead agency, and to operationalise the Chief Health Officer’s direction.”
Wheeler admitted they did consider leaving some of the infrastructure on the side of the road or in an area that was readily accessible in case the checkpoints are brought back in.
“We’ve made a very deliberate decision to completely remove everything,” he said.
“We don’t want people to be distracted when they drive through where we used to have checkpoints.
“And we don’t want people sitting there like we’re about the drag the checkpoints back into play when that’s not the case.”
Queensland Police will continue to have a heavy presence at our airports now parts of Perth, Peel and the South West region in Western Australia have been declared hotspots following a COVID-19 case in hotel quarantine.
The other officers, who have been stationed at the borders checkpoints every day, can now return to more normal operations.