Queensland border restrictions: Your questions answered
THE Queensland borders will close at midnight tonight, Wednesday March 25, meaning anyone who arrives in Queensland must be quarantined for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus, unless for special exemptions.
We answer your questions on what the strict new border controls mean for you.
1. What if I see someone out who I know is supposed to be self-isolating after just arriving from interstate? What should I do?
Call the Health hotline on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
2. What if someone gets caught failing to follow the self-isolation rules? What will happen to them?
If a person does not comply with quarantine directions, penalties can apply: $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 for corporations. It is possible the enforcement officer can issue on the spot tickets for lesser amounts: $1334.50 for individuals, or $6,672.50 for corporations.
3. Further to the above question, what will happen to someone caught failing to self-isolate who then turns out to be coronavirus positive? Will extra action be taken against them?
As above, you can be fined $13,345. There are no specific actions for people who turn out to have the virus, at this stage.
4. I'm a FIFO worker working in Queensland but live interstate - do I have to self-isolate for 14 days every time I return to my job in Queensland after I go home from my swing?
FIFO workers in commercial construction, fishing, mining, energy or agribusiness industries are still allowed to enter Queensland to work without having to undertake self-quarantine. However, they will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO workers, who they are working for, and that they are entering Queensland to go directly to work. The companies they work for will also have to provide a health plan that complies with requirements set by the Chief Health Officer that ensures adequate hygiene and safety requirements to limit the transmission of COVID-19.
5. I'm a Queenslander and have a home here. But I mainly work interstate because that's where my job takes me. How will these changes affect me?
Depends on what your job is. Unless you fall into one of the categories described below, you will have to self-isolate each time you return to Queensland.
6. Who is exempt from the requirement to enter quarantine for 14 days?
Those living outside of Queensland who provide critical services to Queensland:
- National/state security
- Essential health services
- Emergency services
- Transport of goods or freight including food
- Critical maintenance/repair to critical infrastructure in Queensland
- Mining/energy/agribusinesses who have a plan to manage COVID19 transmission among employees.
Queensland also allows a general compassionate grounds exemption, as well as specific exemptions for those living outside of Queensland who:
- Are carers/relatives of dependant individuals in Queensland
- Need to obtain essential medical treatment including visiting terminally ill relatives in Queensland
- Are interstate boarding school students where school is closed
- Are required to comply with the law to travel to Queensland (for example, Family Court, parole/bail conditions etc.).
7. How will the measures be enforced?
Queensland police and other emergency officers under the Public Health Act 2005 will be responsible for enforcing the measures. Other Commonwealth officers may also be involved.
8. Will freight and equipment be able to cross the border into Queensland?
Freight and logistics for any goods into Queensland from interstate is still permitted, including retail goods for pharmacies, grocery stores and petrol stations, on the condition that the person must practise social distancing wherever possible, including maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres where reasonably practicable and remain isolated in their vehicle or accommodation.
9. I live in Coolangatta, am I banned from crossing into Tweed Heads?
No. Residents should follow the clear advice to minimise movement however people are not banned from accessing local essential services, and continue to travel for any kind of employment
10. Will the Gold Coast Airport remain open?
Yes, but the restrictions will apply to all arrivals, and there will be very limited services operating.
11. I live in Queensland but travel interstate regularly for medical treatment. How will these changes affect me?
You can apply for an exemption to the self-isolation rules to the Chief Health Officer if you are travelling interstate for essential medical treatment.
12. If I'm in quarantine, does this mean my family or other people I live with need to self-quarantine?
The rest of your household does not need to self-quarantine if you stay away from others in your home. As much as possible, you should - stay in a room away from others, sleep in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom. And don't allow visitors.
13. What if I have to travel to another state with the same border restrictions for work or other reasons? Say I travel from QLD to SA for two days work. It seems I'll have to self-isolate for 14 days in SA before I spend two days working. When I'm finished do I have to self-isolate for another 14 days when I return home to the QLD?
Unless your job falls into one of the exemption categories, yes you would.
14. How long will the QLD new border restrictions apply for?
According to the Chief Minister and Police Commissioner, at least six months.