Lengthy Delays Expected At Queensland Border From Midnight
Lengthy delays are expected when Queensland's borders are closed at midnight on Wednesday.
Motorists need to be patient at border crossings where priority will be given to essential service and emergency vehicles, says State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.
He said the state is still working through the logistics of supplying passes to residents along the NSW-Qld border, in particular those in Tweed Heads and Coolangatta where only a street divides the states.
The border crossing ban includes pedestrians.
"Even people with an exemption, it is going to take time to get across the border. There will be lengthy delays. My plea is to show patience," he said.
Vehicle passes to cross the border ... won't be ready tonight.
"The same exemptions apply whether you are walking across the road, walking across the border at Tweed Heads or coming in on a boat."
He said police officers will be stationed at passenger arrival gates at Gold Coast Airport to brief passengers on their obligations, if required to self-isolate, and determine if they meet criteria to be exempt.
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.
Those not travelling for work, medical appointments or delivering freight are barred from crossing the border.
With hours to go until residents living in northern NSW face a police controlled border, there is no system in place allowing them to apply for the proposed travel permit.
"We acknowledge this inconvenience may be quite challenging for some people, but we appeal to them to comply with our directions to help manage the impact of COVID-19 on our community," he said.
Many residents say it would be difficult to stop people crossing the border, but the measures had been put in place to protect the community, Gollschewski said.
"So that's about the big numbers of people coming across. The fact that someone might sneak through somewhere in the back of beyond, on some dirt track is probably not the focus for this," he said.
"This is really about the big numbers of people on major corridors."