Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today said for the “first time in more than a century, Queensland will restrict access at its border”.
In a statement released today – Tuesday 24 March – the Premier said it was “essential to slow the spread of coronavirus on the advice of the Chief Health Officer Dr Young”.
“Extra-ordinary times call for extra-ordinary measures,” the Premier said.
“They are not directed at our border communities who cross to shop or work, attend medical appointments and return to their homes.
“They are to stop holidaymakers leaving southern states and risking the spread of this virus through Queensland.”
Measures take effect from midnight tomorrow night (Wednesday) and include:
• Border road closures and police checks on vehicles on major highways
• Advice to aircraft passengers at departure point that travellers to Queensland will be required to self-isolate for 14 days
• Travellers arriving at Queensland airports to be met by police and other officers
• Termination of rail services
• Emergency vehicles
• Emergency workers
• Those travelling to and from work
• Court orders including family court
• Compassionate grounds
• Medical treatment
Anyone travelling to Queensland, not usually resident in Queensland, for any other reason will have to agree to self-isolate for 14 days sick or not.
Penalties include fines of up to $13,345.
Police are developing methods to identify vehicles in border communities to make frequent essential border crossings easier – such as a permit.
The Queensland/New South Wales border last closed at the end of World War One to contain the Spanish flu.
The Premier said the better the community observed measures to restrict travel, avoid personal contact and stay in their homes and suburbs the sooner the virus spread could be contained.
“People should stay in their own states and in their own suburbs,” the Premier said.
“That applies to Queensland as well.
“People in the south-east should not travel to other parts of the state.
“Do not go on holidays. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.”