Queensland to turn back all Victorians from border as virus cases surge

Marco Green
July 13, 2020

Stay away from the border.

The Premier began laughing and accepted the television host's apology before a bunch of flowers was presented to her live at the Queensland-New South Wales border at Coolangatta.

"It's a pandemic, and things can change overnight, " the group said in a statement.

"This border is actually a line of defence, not just for the Gold Coast but for Queensland".

"I think we'll see congestion, I think we'll see inconvenience I think we'll see delays", he said. "That's regrettable but it's unavoidable".

"I understand there's a level of safety that needs to happen ... but people won't sit in traffic for an hour and a half to be loyal to their coffee shop".

Tweed/Byron Police Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell appealed to drivers to be patient.

"Soon enough people are stop going trying to cross the border".

"I know midday came and it's nearly like New Year's Eve's been declared", he said. "Always drive to the conditions, don't speed to try and get to your destination sooner, don't have any distractions around you while behind the wheel, and as always - do not drink or drug drive", Supt Roptell said.

Before the new case was announced, Queensland's only active coronavirus case was an octogenarian who has spent nearly four months in hospital battling the illness.

"It is strongly recommended that Queenslanders do not travel to Victoria. $1.5 billion a month flows through domestic tourism".

Qantas said the Sydney to Melbourne route, which was rated the world's second-busiest in 2018 with 54,102 departures annually, would be most impacted.

Exemptions will be given "for essential specialist workers, as well as for health, legal or compassionate grounds", but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk advises that "very few exemptions will be granted".

"So far the signs are positive but we won't know for sure for a couple of weeks", she said.

"It will be a long journey, so we are asking drivers to please be patient".

"If you can delay your journey, delay it".

NSW Police have warned motorists could sit in traffic jams stretching up to 20km and even suggested they bring snacks and drinks.

Victorians who travelled into NSW before the Victorian border closure, and can prove they have been in NSW for more than 14 days without coronavirus symptoms, will be allowed to travel into the sunshine state.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there had been 13 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in NSW in the past 24 hours, taking the state's total to 3264.

Providing false information on the declaration or entering Queensland unlawfully could result in a $4,003 fine.

Mr Cook said WA's success in combatting coronavirus meant it had become "an extremely desirable safe haven", and the number of people arriving into the state from interstate and overseas was growing.

Supt Wheeler warned Queensland could mirror Victoria's plight - which has entered six weeks of lockdown - "if we don't get this right".

An estimated 2,000 people would be in hotel quarantine by the weekend, he said.

"Testing is the best way of protecting yourself, your family and the community", she said.

Ms Palaszczuk will today advocate for fewer worldwide arrivals at National Cabinet, saying she'd already made that clear to Scott Morrison.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk forecasts "long delays" but no "chaos and confusion around border pass requirements".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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