What’s changed from 1am Saturday 8 August?
With restrictions and border lines changing almost daily, you could be forgiven for being confused about who can and can’t cross the border from New South Wales into Queensland and what postcodes are considered border towns, that is, towns in NSW whose residents the Queensland government will let pass.
In coastal NSW, anyone north of the Pottsville southern boundary (postcode 2489) and Murwillumbah residents (postcode 2484) are able to head into Queensland. Further inland a 2474 postcode (Kyogle area), 2476 ( Woodenbong, Koreelah, Muli Muli, Acacia Creek etc) and 2374 (Tenterfield, Boonoo Boonoo, Liston, Cullendore etc) will see you able to get a border pass.
But, things could change…
Below is the current update from the Queensland government about travel restrictions in that state.
All of Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are now COVID-19 hotspots. COVID-19 hotspots are updated regularly here.
A border zone resident is someone who lives in a community on the Queensland New South Wales border. See the map here . This includes both sides of the border – people who live in Queensland but work or go to school in their neighbouring border town, or people who live in New South Wales but come to work or school in their neighbouring border town in Queensland. Border zone residents can cross the border for any purpose.
Queensland border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in New South Wales (but can travel anywhere within Queensland) and New South Wales border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in either Queensland or New South Wales.
Travel by air
The only people allowed to enter Queensland by road are:
- truck drivers
- workers related to the transport of freight and logistics
- people performing essential activities
- border zone residents.
Children and mandatory quarantine
Everyone, including children, must quarantine in government arranged accommodation. You will need to quarantine with your child in the accommodation, at your expense. If you have other children that you are caring for, they will need to quarantine with you unless you can make other arrangements for them to be cared for.
You will have to apply for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer in order to send your child to Queensland from a hotspot by themselves. This is to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is unaccompanied in government arranged quarantine.
Changes have been made to who is classed as providing an essential activity.
Flying out of Melbourne Tullamarine airport
If you have had a layover at Melbourne Tullamarine airport you will be required to quarantine for 14 days in government arranged accommodation at your own expense when you arrive. If you completed your quarantine in Melbourne Tullamarine airport you will be required to complete another 14 days quarantine upon arrival into Queensland.
If you have had a layover at an airport located in other hotspots, you will be able to enter Queensland without quarantining as long as you didn’t leave the airport.
To slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) the Queensland Government is tightening its border restrictions.
Anyone can enter Queensland unless they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days.
The tightening of restrictions means people who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot within the last 14 days will no longer be able to quarantine in Queensland and will be turned away at our border. This applies to everyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days, except people needed in Queensland for essential activities. Queensland residents who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot can return home but will be required to quarantine in government provided accommodation at their expense.
COVID-19 hotspots are updated regularly here. Currently all of Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are COVID-19 hotspots.
You must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass before you come to Queensland. This will include agreeing to get tested for COVID-19 if you develop any symptoms within 14 days of arriving in Queensland.
You will have to quarantine when you enter Queensland if you:
- have been overseas in last 14 days
- have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days (and you are allowed to enter)
- have COVID-19 or have had COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- have had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days
- are a Queensland border zone resident who travelled outside the border zone in New South Wales
- are a New South Wales border zone resident who travelled outside the border zone in either New South Wales or Queensland.
You are only allowed to enter Queensland if you have been in a hotspot in the last 14 days, if:
- your usual residence is in Queensland or you are moving to Queensland
- you are a border zone resident
- you need to comply with an order to attend a Court or Tribunal or to give effect to orders of the Court or Tribunal
- you have to fulfil a legal obligation relating to shared parenting or child contact
- you have to assist with or participate in a State or Commonwealth law enforcement investigation or other action at the request or direction of a State or Commonwealth department or law enforcement agency
- you need to come to Queensland to complete an essential activity
- you arrive into Queensland by air and you transfer directly to another flight to leave Queensland and don’t leave the airport or quarantine until your flight out of Queensland
- you were in a COVID-19 hotspot for the sole purpose of transiting through an airport and didn’t leave the airport, excluding Melbourne Tullamarine airport
- you are a student at a higher education institution or boarding school and are entering Queensland for study, parents and guardians are allowed to accompany students who are minors
- you are entering to receive essential medical care, or to provide support to a person receiving essential medical care.
You will have to provide evidence of the above when entering Queensland.
You will be required to complete 14 days mandatory quarantine in government arranged accommodation at your own expense unless exceptional circumstances apply.
You do not have to quarantine if you are arriving from a COVID-19 hotspot if you:
- need to come to Queensland to complete an essential activity
- arrive into Queensland by air and you transfer directly to another flight to leave Queensland or quarantine until your flight out of Queensland
- were in a COVID-19 hotspot for the sole purpose of transiting through an airport, excluding Melbourne Tullamarine airport
- can provide evidence that you completed mandatory hotel quarantine in a COVID-19 hotspot and immediately transited to Queensland, unless you flew out of Melbourne Tullamarine airport
- are a border zone resident and have not been in a hotspot in the last 14 days.
If you are exempt from quarantine, you will need to keep and retain records of close contacts whilst you are in Queensland for two weeks after you arrive in Queensland. Strengthened enforcement will be present at Queensland borders, including screening of Queensland Border Declaration Passes and identification. There are also increased penalties for providing false or misleading information. If you breach any of the requirements under the Borders Direction, you may be subject to enforcement, including an on the spot fine of $1334, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment.
If you provide false, misleading or incorrect information on a Border Declaration it is an offence punishable by a fine of $4,004, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment.
The official public health direction is available here.
What this means for you
- You will need to obtain a Queensland Border Declaration Pass to cross the border even if you are a returning Queenslander. Applications can be done at the border, however you may face delays
- You will need to provide satisfactory evidence of identity such as a driver’s license or Medicare card
- You will need to commit to get tested for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms within 14 days of entering Queensland.
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