Australia Everything you need to know about the Queensland-New South Wales border zone

08:32  25 july  2021
08:32  25 july  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Queensland is the north-eastern state of Australia and has land borders with three other Australian states and territories: New South Wales (to the south ), South Australia (to the south -west) and Northern Territory (to the west).

New South Wales – local government areas (LGAs) of Blayney Shire, Cabonne Shire and Orange City as well as LGAs that make up Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour. If you ’re travelling from Queensland it’s important to understand the restrictions that apply to domestic travel. Find out more about travel into other states and territories, including applying for border passes. If travel advice changes, you may need to cancel or amend your travel plans on short notice.

As the new week approaches, confusion reigns for border residents.

Here's everything you need to know about the Queensland and New South Wales border situation:

Why is there a border zone?

The border zone came into effect on Friday, and was established by Queensland Health with the intent to "enable the movement of residents within the border zone for day-to-day activities".

This border zone encapsulates anyone who lives between the Tweed through to the Clarence Valley (Grafton, but not Coffs Harbour) and out west to the South Australian border.

The border zone does not include anyone who has been there temporarily, and cannot be used as a "gateway" for residents from other parts of New South Wales to enter Queensland after 14 days.

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Queensland 's border checkpoints will be dismantled from 1:00am Monday, allowing freedom of entry to not just New South Wales residents, but everyone Australia-wide. All other states and territories are currently open to Queensland travellers with no need to quarantine. Most states require border declarations for entry, so you should check that jurisdiction's website for the specific form you need . Some states have not yet announced an easing of restrictions to Greater Sydney, meaning if you spend some time there before travelling elsewhere, you may be limited from onward interstate travel.

New South Wales Health will conduct contact tracing of other passengers on that flight to Ballina. "He was advised he was a close contact and to isolate for 14 days regardless of the test result," NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said. "He stated that he had been isolating since 10 July, however, we know this is not true. "We are concerned about the nature and extent of his exposures on the flight and in the community, both in New South Wales and in Queensland ." Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

On the border, police manage cross-border visitors with physical closure infrastructure.

Where are current closures?

There are several vehicle checkpoints speckled around the Gold Coast, manned by police.

Vehicle checkpoints are accessible by those with a pass.

Hard border locations indicate the road is closed and not accessible.

Current vehicle checkpoints:

  • Griffith Street, Coolangatta
  • Gold Coast Highway, Bilinga
  • M1 Stewarts Road, Currumbin
  • Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, Natural Bridge — operating from 7am to 7pm.

Planned vehicle checkpoints:

  • Ducat and Miles streets, Coolangatta

Hard closure locations:

  • Boundary and Clarke streets, Coolangatta
  • Dixon and Bay streets, Coolangatta
  • Leeward Terrace and Tooloon Street, Coolangatta
  • Kent Street near Murraba Crescent, Coolangatta
  • Dixon and Florence streets, Coolangatta.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said Ducat and Miles streets in Coolangatta may be opened as checkpoints early next week, but are currently hard closures.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that the state border will be opening up to parts of New South Wales starting from 1:00 AM on October 1st – but only to five (5) additional local government areas. Residents from the following shires will soon be allowed to travel freely between NSW and QLD – effectively bringing the extended border zone to include 41 postcodes from the former Queensland residents will also be allowed to enter the listed areas. New South Wales residents, however, will be required to apply for a border pass before they can actually hit the road.

You need to apply for a Border Declaration Pass through the Queensland Government website. Once you 've crossed the border , you can only travel to the areas of NSW that are included in the border bubble. You will need to declare on your border pass if you have been outside of the areas listed above. I don't live in any of the border bubble postcodes, when will I be able to enter Queensland ? A review of the border restrictions is conducted at the end of every month. Dr Young said that she needed to see 28 days without any community-acquired cases in an area before she allows residents

Passes for border zone residents

For those living in the border zone area, an X Pass is required to cross into Queensland.

The X Pass — which falls under the overarching Queensland Entry Pass — is valid for 14 days.

The NSW Entry Declaration form is also required for anyone entering New South Wales, including border residents crossing from Queensland, and must be renewed every 72 hours.

Queensland Health says border zone residents can cross between Queensland and New South Wales border zone for a limited number of reasons:

  • to get food or other goods or services for the personal needs of the household or other household purposes, including for pets, and for vulnerable persons if there aren't suitable shops locally
  • to access medical or health care or get medical supplies if they would normally cross the border to do so
  • get a COVID-19 vaccine if that is where they would usually go
  • get a COVID-19 test if that is the closest site
  • work
  • volunteering
  • to provide assistance, care or support to a family member or to fulfil other caring responsibilities whether paid or unpaid
  • to attend any court or tribunal of Australia or to comply with or give effect to orders of the court or tribunal of Australia
  • to attend a childcare facility, school, university or other educational institution
  • to participate in — or take a child to — organised sport they would usually participate in, including a sporting activity organised by a community club, religious organisation, school or educational institution
  • to assist with or participate in an investigation or other action by a law enforcement authority
  • to comply with or give effect to the exercise of a power or function of a government agency or entity under a law
  • to continue existing arrangements for contact between parents, children and siblings who do not live together
  • to move house
  • to avoid injury or illness
  • to escape a risk of harm
  • to escape an emergency situation.

Several reasons border residents cannot cross the border include:

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The Queensland - New South Wales border will close this weekend, but Gold Coast and Tweed residents will be able to move freely under a new " border bubble". Key points Residents will need to apply for new exemption passes after 1:00am on Saturday. Queensland Health has released a list of Queensland and New South Wales postcodes, which are eligible for an "X" declaration pass. Tweed Shire and Gold Coast residents, however, will not be allowed to travel deeper into respective states without special exemptions.

But most of New South Wales , and all of Victoria, remain locked out. "Conversely, any Queenslander from anywhere in Queensland will need to get a border pass, and they can go to any of those border - zone areas in NSW ." "We know we can't eliminate this virus from Queensland , no

  • exercise (unless it's usual team sport)
  • to get married or attend a funeral (unless they have an approved exemption)
  • recreational reasons, such as visiting family or friends, going to the cinema or going for a surf.

Will there be traffic congestion?

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police had intercepted more than 3,000 vehicles at border checkpoints on Saturday.

He said it was a "significant operation" and, on Friday, urged commuters to "pack patience" and expect major delays at the border checkpoints.

Some motorists reported delays of up to three hours on the first day of the new border regime.

Over the weekend, traffic eased for the Gold Coast Highway, but a police spokesperson said congestion was expected again throughout the week, as commuters and police settle in to the new arrangements.

What if there is an emergency?

You are allowed to cross the border in emergency situations, such as to go to a hospital.

A police spokesperson said there was no dedicated lane for those heading to a hospital, unless they were in an emergency vehicle.

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Ambulances, Fire and Emergency Services and Police have a dedicated emergency crossing lane at some checkpoints, and police urge anyone facing a life-threatening emergency to phone triple zero.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson said the QAS Bicycle Response Team was in action on the border for cross-border emergencies.

Can I walk kids to school across border?

Yes, schooling is one reason border residents can cross between Queensland and New South Wales.

Parents accompanying their children to school must have an X Pass and list their child on the pass.

Unaccompanied children will need their own X Pass.

What if I leave border zone?

Queenslanders or New South Wales residents who leave the border zone in New South Wales will not be able to re-enter Queensland.

Queensland Health outlined any border zone resident who has been in a hotspot — which is now all of New South Wales outside of the border zone — in the past 14 days would have to quarantine for 14 days in a government quarantine facility, at their own expense.

For example, if a resident from the Tweed goes to visit a friend in Coffs Harbour, then goes home, they can no longer enter Queensland.

Things may change

Today, Queensland Deputy premier Steven Miles said health authorities were still concerned about two cases, including a flight attendant and another person who drove from Ballina airport to Queensland on July 14.

"Both of these positive cases have been active in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast," he said.

"We may well expect more [exposure sites] in the coming days.

"It underlines that the risk in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, in particular, remains very, very real," he said.

Earlier, Mr Miles said, the border zone must be "kept safe" from COVID-19 if the arrangement was to continue.

Police and authorities are urging individuals to assess their own personal circumstances, monitor exposure sites and seek the most up-to-date information as the border situation evolves.

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