What happens if you cross the border today

POLICE say motorists better have a genuine reason for wanting to enter Queensland territory from this morning.

If not, they are facing 14 days self-isolation or will be turned back.

All but three crossings on the Queensland-NSW border - the M1, Gold Coast Highway and Griffith St - were closed from midnight. Traffic from the other 14 points on the boundary are expected to funnel through those roads.

Queensland Police set up a roadblock due to the coronavirus at the NSW / Queensland Border on Griffith Street Coolangatta.
Queensland Police set up a roadblock due to the coronavirus at the NSW / Queensland Border on Griffith Street Coolangatta.

State Disaster Co-ordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said every car would come under scrutiny in the early stages of the border closure. Although the Bulletin has been told it will still be an RBT-style random intercept, with a focus on out-of-state number plates.

"Every vehicle coming across the border will be subject to scrutiny, particularly in the initial part. As we get vehicles accredited they will be able to push into another lane so they can push through," he said.

 

Queensland Deputy police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
Queensland Deputy police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

"Initially, anyone that doesn't have the accreditation, which is the exemption … will be stopped and checked to see whether they have the exemption and they will be allowed through.

"You should not travel across that border unless you absolutely have to and do not try to cross that border unless you have an exemption, because you will be turned around or you will be required to go into 14 days of isolation in Queensland.

"If you can't demonstrate that you can go into an effective 14 days of isolation in Queensland, you will be turned around.

There will be just a handful of entrances to Queensland.
There will be just a handful of entrances to Queensland.

"Stay at home unless you need to travel … if you just want to come across the border to socialise or get a coffee at Surfers Paradise, don't do it, we're not going to let you through."

Police sources have told the Bulletin they will be flying by the seat of their pants to try and sort out the "logistical nightmare" of trying to enforce the closure.

"It's either going to be a logistical nightmare, or people will do the right thing and not try to cross if they don't have to," a source said.

"But, who can predict what's going to happen? I dare say that first commute in the morning is going to be an interesting one."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Mr Gollschewski said motorists should expect "very, very long" delays in the coming days.

"My plea to the community is to show patience. If you have to cross the border, we will prioritise people who are in essential services, or delivery essential goods or acting in an emergency response to something.

"Even those other people who may have exemptions, it's going to take some time to cross the border, so please to those people who do not need to travel, don't do it.

A border control sign is displayed to motorists on the Pacific Highway(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
A border control sign is displayed to motorists on the Pacific Highway(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

"This will be a very challenging couple of days in particular.

"We are doing this to stop the spread of coronavirus … it's about minimising the risk to our community."

Mayor Tom Tate said he was fully supportive of any moves to increase restrictions on border crossings.

"When I spoke with the Premier, it was clear that it was essential we restrict border travel and if we have to restrict it further because of advice from Queensland Health then I fully support that position," he said.

"To everyone, I say social distancing is the key."

Originally published as What happens if you cross the border today


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