Queenslanders Making a Last-Minute Dash Across the Border to Return Home

By AAP
August 6, 2020 Updated: August 6, 2020

Queenslanders are making a last-minute dash across the border to return home before the NSW border shuts this weekend.

More than 3000 travellers have flown into the state in the past 24 hours as they attempt to beat the hard border lockdown on Aug 8.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski expects two-hour delays at vehicle checkpoints up to the 1am deadline.

“I know that’s very tight for everybody,” he told ABC radio on Aug 7.

About 6000 vehicles have been checked in the past day and 68 people have been turned around.

Gollschewski said 10 percent of the Sunshine State’s police force was on pandemic duties.

Queensland will close its border with NSW and ban ACT residents when Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young officially declares them coronavirus hotspots.

People returning to the state after the lockdown will have to return by air and enter a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Road access will be blocked to all vehicles once the border closes with exemptions for border town residents and freight.

A map of communities eligible for special border passes has been posted to the Department of Health website.

It comes as the state waits anxiously to find out if efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus have been successful after two COVID-19-infected teens dodged quarantine and spent days moving about the community.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the next few days would be crucial.

“It only takes one or two people coming into Queensland and we could have a situation like is unfolding in Victoria,” she said.

“I do not want that to happen here.”

The restriction on people travelling from Victoria remains in place.

People from non-hotspot locations will have to travel by air or via the Northern Territory border.

The decision to close the border will be reviewed at the end of August.

Sophie Moore in Brisbane