Queensland has now officially opened its border to the majority of New South Wales, but it could still be a month before Sydney-siders are welcomed back.
From 1.00am the borders were opened to our southern neighbours, except for 32 local government areas within the Greater Sydney region.
The local’s ‘X-pass’ will be phased out on expiry, with the ‘G-pass’ to replace it with a two week validity rather than just one.
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Police are expecting lengthy delays at the crossings this morning as more people from regional New South Wales flock back to the Sunshine State.
At 6.00am, delays were around two kilometres long on the M1, and expected to worsen slightly throughout the morning.
Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler is urging motorists to have patience.
“We would be expecting people to come up and holiday, and of course there are people who for months and months haven’t been able to visit Queensland or see relatives.
“So we’ll be expecting big volumes of traffic to come in,” Superintendent Wheeler said yesterday.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer made the border announcement on Friday, saying there is still too much unlinked community transmission within the city to let Sydneysiders in just yet.
“I have reviewed the situation in New South Wales and prior to yesterday they had four LGA’s (Local Government Areas) in Sydney that had had cases of community transmission that New South Wales was unable to link to any known clusters,” Dr Jeanette Young said last week.
“That means that they have transmission and they don’t know where it is coming from.
“New South Wales put out an alert for six different sites across the city where they were concerned that transmission could have occurred. So based on that new information yesterday and the information up to that point I believe it is important that Queensland remain closed to those 32 LGA’s in Sydney.
“Outside those 32 LGAs have not been any cases in the previous 28 days. So that is really good news and New South Wales has done exceptionally well,” Dr Young said.
It means that Sydney-siders could be kept out of the Sunshine State for the rest of the month, with the Chief Health Officer not expected to review the border restrictions until the end of November.
However, those who live in Sydney or have been there recently are able to spend two weeks outside of the Greater Sydney area, before they would then be let in to Queensland.
Queenslanders are able to go anywhere within New South Wales, and can fly through Sydney airport provided they don’t spend any time out and about within the city.
For more information, or to apply for the ‘G-pass’, click here.