QUEENSLAND has recorded another day of zero new COVID-19 cases, leaving the state’s total at 1,071.
Four active cases remain across the Sunshine State, including one on the Gold Coast.
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Friday, 17 July – coronavirus cases in Queensland: • 0 new confirmed cases• 4 active cases• 1,071 total confirmed…
It comes as Queensland Police warn motorists there won’t be a return to free-flowing traffic at the borders for months to come, as COVID-19 outbreaks continue across the country.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says delays at Coolangatta and the Tweed are ‘inevitable’.
“It is taking considerable time to get through the borders. So please, please plan for that and be patient,” the Commissioner told reporters on Friday.
“It’s not normal times. It is COVID. And this will continue to be the case for many, many, many more months to come.”
Since July 3, more than 600,000 applications have been made for the border passes into Queensland.
Police say while many of those may be double ups from daily commuters, it’s still shows the substantial number of motorists crossing through checkpoints.
“That tells you the volume of people we are trying to deal with. This is not a simple issue,” said Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
Police have intercepted more than 43,000 vehicles and turned around 1150.
“That gives you an indication of some of the volume of work that’s going out there and we are going to continue to do that at and we’re going to continue to keep the community safe. That’s the whole purpose of this,” he said.
The Gold Coast’s Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said over 350 people have been turned at the five checkpoints on the Gold Coast alone.
“They’ve all come from either a hotspot of they’ve been in a hotspot in the last 14 days,” Wheeler said.
“So that’s 350 people that could have come into our community. It would have only taken one of them to have had COVID-19 and we could have had a really poor outcome.”
He urged motorists to make sure they have the newest border declaration passes, which were updated at midday on Thursday, to make it easier for local drivers to be waved through the checkpoints.
Wheeler said it would be the ultimate time saver.
“If we can save even five second per vehicle and, looking at it very conservatively, if we process 20,000 vehicles that will equate to almost 30 hours of saved time across our system,” he said.