Queensland slams border shut on NSW/ACT

Queensland closes border with NSW and ACT, while NSW also bans Victorians

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Queensland will again close its borders to residents from NSW and ACT at 1am on Saturday, August 8. Photo: Shutterstock.

Queensland will again close its borders to residents from NSW and ACT at 1am on Saturday, August 8. Photo: Shutterstock.

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Queensland will close its borders to all NSW and ACT residents from this Saturday following a spike in coronavirus cases in southern states.

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QUEENSLAND will close its borders to all NSW and ACT residents from this Saturday following a spike in coronavirus cases in southern states.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement this morning, saying it was imperative to keep Queenslanders safe.

Ms Palaszczuk said as of 1am, Saturday August 8, all visitors from NSW and the ACT would be denied entry, except for rare exemptions.

Queenslanders returning to the state after this time will have to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

It comes after Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young declared all of NSW and the ACT as hotspots, joining Victorians who are also barred from entering the state.

"I said that when the moment came, I would not hesitate," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"That moment has arrived.

"Victoria hasn't improved as we hoped and I won't wait for New South Wales to get any worse.

"I will not risk our state's economic recovery by allowing COVID to spread. I will do everything I can to protect Queenslanders and the economy."

Only residents of border communities and essential workers, such as truck drivers, will be able to cross the border.

Exemptions - including for compassionate reasons - will be limited. Passes for border communities will be for those with proof of address and photo ID.

Ms Palaszczuk said providing notice gave people time to plan.

It comes after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Queensland last week, when two women from south east Queensland, 19 and 21, tested positive for the disease on July 28, after they returned from Victoria, on flights via Sydney.

In an unrelated case, another man who returned from overseas and flew from Sydney to Maroochydore without quarantining has tested positive and is now isolating in Toowoomba.

And today, police reveled they had charged more people falsifying their Queensland border declarations.

They include a couple in their 60s, who were detained in Nanango yesterday after police received information they had allegedly travelled through the Goondiwindi police checkpoint with false declarations on July 27.

The 63-year-old man and 68-year-old woman were issued with notices to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court on August 19 for failing to comply with the Queensland Border Direction and fraud.

They have been placed into mandatory hotel quarantine outside the South Burnett area.

In a separate matter, a 22-year-old Weipa man was issued with an infringement notice for failing to comply with the Queensland Border Direction after being intercepted in Cairns Airport yesterday.

Police will allege the man flew into Queensland from Canberra and failed to declare he had been in Sydney, a COVID-19 hotspot, on August 2. He was immediately placed into hotel quarantine.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said recent examples showed a blatant disregard for the law.

"The selfish and reckless actions of a few people are putting the safety of our community at risk and threatening to undo all of the good work of Queenslanders so far," Mr Miles said.

"I urge Queenslanders not to travel interstate; the risks are too great. Stay in Queensland and stay safe."

The border closure will be reviewed at the end of the month.

Victoria today recorded Australia's worst spike in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 725 cases and 15 deaths, including a man aged in his 30s.

This prompted NSW to follow Queensland's lead.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced that all returning travellers entering NSW from Victoria would be required to enter compulsory 14 day hotel quarantine.

Travellers will not be allowed to cross the border by car, and must travel through Sydney Airport to gain access to the state.

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