Queenslanders Will Now Require a Permit to Cross Back Over the Border from Interstate
And anyone who's visited a hotspot, such as the greater Sydney area, will also now be required to quarantine for 14 days.
A couple of weeks back, in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Queensland, the state closed its borders. Since midnight on Wednesday, March 25, travel in and out of the state has been limited to certain essential purposes — freight, travelling to and from work, compassionate grounds, medical treatment, court orders including family court, emergency vehicles and emergency workers — with police manning roadblocks to enforce the restrictions.
The idea is that people should only be visiting Queensland, or leaving the state and returning, for a mighty good reason. "People should stay in their own state — and where, as far as possible, they should be staying in their suburbs and as much as possible staying at home," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at the time.
Since coming into effect, the lockdown has already been tightened once, completely blocking non-Queensland residents without an exemption from entering the state from Friday, April 3. Now, as the Easter long weekend approaches, further rules have been announced.
As revealed by the Premier today, Queenslanders will now need to obtain a permit to cross back over the border if they're returning from interstate — even if they're a permanent Queensland resident. Previously, border passes were only required for people living outside of Queensland but providing critical services to Queensland; folks needing to enter Queensland to care for a relative, see a doctor or abide by a court order; or those living in a border community. If you were a Queenslander who lives in the state and drives a car with Queensland registration plates, you didn't need a permit.
The new pass requirements come into effect from midnight on Friday, April 10 — and those affected can apply for a permit online. Permanent Queensland residents returning to the state after visiting an area of Australia currently considered a hotspot, such as the greater Sydney area, will also now be required to quarantine for 14 days.
As proved the case with the initial border closure, the rules cover all Queensland borders, including access via road, rail, sea and air. No one is allowed to come into Queensland that isn't a permanent resident, or doesn't have an essential purpose — regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.
As of 6am on Thursday, April 9, 943 Queenslanders have tested positive for COVID-19.
For further details about Queensland's border restrictions, visit the state government's Queensland border closure website — and for further information about the status of COVID-19 in Queensland, check out the state's dedicated COVID-19 site.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.
Published on April 09, 2020 by Sarah Ward