It’s the first morning of chaos at the New South Wales/Queensland border, since entry restrictions were changed again yesterday.
Frustrated locals have been caught in kilometres of traffic at 6.00am, in what would have usually been an easy ‘wave through’ experience.
One Banora Point resident, who’s a regular border crosser, says this morning’s delays have been the ‘worst ever’.
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“At 6.00am, the border crossing usually takes around 10 minutes, not too bad at all.
“But this morning, it’s taken me an hour to get from the Tugun tunnel through to the checkpoint, it’s by far the worst it’s ever been,” the motorist told myGC.
It’s due to police now having to check every New South Wales and Victorian number plate on entry, making sure no one’s been to the new Sydney hot-spots which were declared at midday yesterday.
Any non-Queenslanders who’ve travelled through those hot-spots will now be denied entry.
While Queenslanders returning to the state will be made to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense if they’re found to have travelled through the hot spots.
“The reason we’re checking all New South Wales vehicles at the moment is that the public haven’t had a chance to catch up on the border declaration system,” Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler told The Today Show from the border crossing this morning.
“That is they haven’t been able to declare they haven’t been in a local government area of Liverpool or Campeltown (in Sydney).
“We expect over the coming days that the public will catch up with that, but in the interim, we really need to scrutinise those vehicles heavily,” he said.
The changes came into effect from midday yesterday, with Queensland Health authorities only giving a three hour warning to the country.
Delays yesterday afternoon stretched almost 10 kilometres down the M1, while this morning they were already around 6 kilometres back at 6.30am.
“We’ve been on the border now since the 26th of March, it’s a rapidly evolving situation,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler told Nine.
“As we get new changes to the Chief Health Officer’s directions, we adapt immediately and we impose those restrictions that are required,” he added.
Related article: Massive delays after new border restriction changes in Qld
Everyone entering the state must complete a Border Declaration Pass online declaring they haven’t been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days.
If caught lying, they could cop an on-the-spot fine of $4003.
To download a new Queensland Border Declaration Pass, click here.