Border chaos expected as Qld reopens
Chaos expected today as Queensland reopens its borders with all the other states and territories apart from Victoria (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
Victorians will be locked out of Queensland until the southern state gets community transmission of coronavirus under control, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.
Almost 314,000 people have now downloaded border passes to enter the Sunshine State, which reopens its borders to everyone but visitors from Victoria at noon.
Ms Palaszczuk says Victorians will remain locked out for the foreseeable future.
BREAKING: Given the developing situation in Victoria, Queensland is hardening its border.— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) July 8, 2020
From noon, July 10, visitors from Victoria will no longer gain access or be able to quarantine in Queensland.
They will be turned around.#COVID19Vic #Victoria #Queensland pic.twitter.com/GwsAW223t5
"As long as it takes ... I hate to say that, but it's as long as it takes until the community transmission there is under control," she told Nine Network on Friday.
"There is no community transmission in any other state or territory."
The premier has warned of long delays at border checkpoints, and urged people to delay their entry if they could.
"You could be sitting in traffic for hours," she said.
"If you're thinking about coming today, maybe think about changing your plans."
NSW school holiday-makers are expected to make up a large portion of incoming tourists.
And some northern and western NSW towns have reported dealing with a log-jam of caravaners waiting for Queensland to open up.
The money they'll spend will provide welcome relief for tourism operators and the hospitality sector, which have suffered huge economic losses during the 15-week border lock down.
Queensland's airports are also preparing for an influx of arrivals, but travellers will not be allowed to leave terminal buildings until restrictions officially ease at midday.
Some flights have been delayed to help avoid passenger traffic jams.
All arrivals into Queensland must hold a valid border pass, including residents returning to their home state.
The only Victorians who'll be allowed in are those who can prove they left the state at least a fortnight ago by presenting documents such as dated accommodation receipts.
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski says officers on border checkpoints will make sure "no-one who has been in a hotspot is going to be able to bring COVID".
"We are just not going to let you in," he said.
Queensland has only two active coronavirus cases, including an 81-year-old man who has battled the illness for more than four months, and a defence force officer who returned from overseas with the virus.
Victoria has more than 3000 cases, after days of triple-digit increases.
© AAP 2020