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Drivers Stuck In Queensland Border Traffic Say It's 'Just Like An RBT'

Not since 1919 has the border between Queensland and NSW effectively been closed.

Northern NSW mayors say the NSW border should also be closed to avoid confusion and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Confusion for residents on each side of the Queensland-NSW border was enough reason to stop people entering NSW, according to Tweed mayor Katie Milne.

The state border sign is seen at Tomewin, on the border of New South Wales and Queensland. Image: AAP

She agrees with Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson, who called on the NSW government to close its borders for non-essential travel.

"I don't understand why we are not having a national lockdown," Cr Milne told AAP.

"We should be like Italy where people are behaving themselves inside."

Queensland Police stopped traffic off the M1 at Bilinga and only allowed people who needed to cross the border to enter.

The first morning of the new restrictions appeared to be more informative than anything else.

Queensland Police were advising motorists with NSW licence plates to go to the government website, where permits can be obtained to easily enter the state.

The border patrol caused traffic to back up for kilometres on the M1 and on-ramps.

Traffic is seen on The Pacific Highway in New South Wales near the Queensland border, Thursday, March 26, 2020. Image: AAP

Milne said it was causing problems for residents.

"It is hard to have (motorists) wait in a queue for an hour and a half - we are feeling the pain."

Residents on both sides of the border seemed to be taking the new measures in their stride.

But many people who spoke with the AAP said they felt there was not enough information available before the new measures were introduced.

Tradesman Ben Callcott lives in the Tweed suburb of Banora Point but works in Queensland.

There was plenty of confusion amongst his workmates this morning who were coming to grips with their new reality.

"At the moment it is not too bad but it is the first day - we don't know what it will be like in the coming days," Callcott said.

"A few of our team who live in NSW stayed on the Gold Coast last night because they didn't know how it would all pan out."

Tweed resident Shane McMaster was another one of thousands stuck in traffic on his commute to the Gold Coast suburb of Robina.

But he said he wasn't bothered by the traffic.

"It's not too bad, just like an RBT I suppose," he said.

Those coming into Queensland for work, or other essential reasons, will need to go to the government website to obtain a permit.

State Disaster Coordinator, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski called for patience following a "soft launch" of the website providing entry permits.

Passes will be available for people to print at home and applicants will display them on their vehicle so they can cross the border more easily.

The border restrictions apply to all travel to Queensland by air, sea, rail or road.

Traffic is seen on The Pacific Highway. Image: AAP

Police officers will be stationed at passenger arrival gates at Gold Coast Airport to brief passengers on their obligations if they are required to self-isolate and determine if they meet the criteria for exemption.

Motorists will be turned away at the border if they are not exempt or can't adequately demonstrate they can go into isolation in Queensland for 14 days.