Queenslanders will still require a border pass to re-enter the state despite travel to NSW, except for Greater Sydney, permitted from Tuesday under the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday announced the state’s borders remained closed to all of Victoria and 32 Local Government Areas in Sydney which are home to some 4.8 million residents.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski warned of lengthy delays at border road crossings when the restrictions ease at 1am on November 3.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski warns Queenslanders to check they have the correct border pass from November 3. Picture: Peter WallisSource:News Corp Australia
He also warned Queenslanders of changes to border declaration passes that are still required when residents re-enter the state.
“In the lead up to November 3, everyone that has currently got a border declaration pass, should check what they should have,” he said.
“It's likely that will change and they’re going to need to have the correct pass … we’re going to do some system changes to do that.”
Mr Gollschewski called for patience and understanding when the change over to new border passes occurred.
Expect lengthy delays at Queensland’s road borders from November 3 when border restrictions ease, say police. Picture: Scott PowickSource:News Corp Australia
He suggested anyone wanting to enter the state, or residents wanting to return, should plan ahead to allow sufficient time to cross the border.
“It’s really important that people remember that every time we’ve changed the system it has caused problems,” Mr Gollschewski said.
“People don’t understand. They get confused. They might apply for the wrong pass. They don’t plan ahead for their travel.
“We know that particularly with the Gold Coast borders that we will see congestion and see delays.”
He said there were about 1000 police rostered to handle all coronavirus-related patrols, from borders to airports and hotel quarantine.
It’s likely that arrangement will continue in the foreseeable future, Mr Gollschewski said.
“So long as we’ve got any hot spots anywhere in Australia, there will be border controls at coming in points.”
Queensland’s Chief Health office Dr Jeannette Young says the state is going for suppression, not an elimination, strategy of coronavirus. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah MarshallSource:News Corp Australia
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the easing of restrictions to allow NSW residents, bar those living in Greater Sydney, to enter the state was about controlling the outbreaks of COVID-19.
“We're going to have to learn to live with this virus,” she said.
“We are going for a suppression strategy, not an elimination strategy.”
A decision on whether to reopen to all of NSW will be made at the end of November.
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