Qld Coronavirus, COVID-19: Thousands are still waiting for border closures

Only three streets with police checkpoints on the Queensland-NSW border remain open. The rest are blocked because the state will block tomorrow morning.

Drivers were warned to expect significant delays from midnight when attempting to cross the Queensland-New South Wales border with RBT-style police controls.

The M1, Gold Coast Highway and Griffith Street all remain open after Queensland has closed its NSW border to combat the spread of COVID-19. The ban could take months.

All other interstate roads, including Coolangatta’s back streets, will be closed.

The blocked roads include Nerang-Murwillumbah Road in Springbrook, Tomewin Mountain Road in the Currumbin Valley, Kent Street in Coolangatta, Dixon Street in Coolangatta and Miles Street in Coolangatta.

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Deputy Commissioner for State Disaster Coordinator Steve Gollschewski announced today that plans are already underway to screen people trying to enter Queensland by road, air, sea and rail.

“We have one of the largest border crossings in the country,” he said.

The Queensland police force will be able to close the NSW border at 12:01 p.m. on March 26.

“The clear message is that you shouldn’t travel across this border unless you absolutely have to.”

He said the state government is working to speed up a website that would allow people to request an exception to the border closure.

In the coming days, stickers would be available on people’s cars with a legitimate reason to switch between states.

Other people crossing the border would have to demonstrate that they can effectively isolate themselves for 14 days.

Mr. Gollschewski said that exceptional stickers would streamline the process for those who had to get through.

But he warned that the next few days would be challenging.

“People can expect very, very long delays,” he said, adding that every vehicle would be checked.

“My plea is that people show patience.

“For those who don’t have to travel, don’t do it.

“If you cannot prove that you can achieve effective 14-day isolation in Queensland, you will be turned around.”

He said that people in border areas “had nothing to fear”, but had to limit travel across national borders to essential tasks such as attending school for children.

“If you cross the border to have coffee, you don’t,” he said.

Tweed Mayor Katie Milne said all residents should be aware of the restrictions that are likely to have a significant impact on the movement of residents and businesses, especially those living near the border.

“The council was informed this morning that there will initially be three access points to Queensland – on the M1, the Gold Coast Highway and Griffith Street with RBT-like controls,” she said.

“All other roads that lead to Queensland are blocked with roadblocks. These rules could change. “

The restrictions continue to allow people to make essential travel between home and work, freight, medical needs, legal requirements, for schools and childcare, compassionate reasons, other essential needs, and for those who cross the border.

According to the recommendations of the Queensland government, travel should be restricted or minimized as much as possible. This also applies to people who live in Queensland and work in NSW.

“The Council fully supports the call to stay at home now for all non-essential trips,” said Cr Milne.

Media cameraFreya Frenzel from Coolangatta at the NSW / Qld border marker. Image: Adam Head

“These are exceptional times, and I support the Queensland Prime Minister’s intention to reduce unnecessary movements.

“It would have been better to have at least some consultations with the Council and the companies, but we understand that everyone will do their best as quickly as possible at this stage.”

Cr Milnes is sad to see that around 8,000 Tweed residents work in Queensland and 5,000 Queensland residents work in Tweed (see above) “Our communities are intertwined in so many ways”.

“The Queensland Prime Minister’s decision reinforces my previous call for a two to four week national ban to give us time to start all processes and avoid confusion,” she said.

“At the moment, we’re seeing piecewise decisions when we need the most precautionary and consistent approach.”

Media cameraMain roads to Queensland are checked by the police.

Mr. Gollschewski said the border would be closed “as long as we needed it”.

“We are planning this for months, not a few weeks,” he said.

“It is planned to maintain this for up to six months if necessary.”

Thousands of people across the border are still waiting for travel authorization details.

Hours before the residents of North NSW face a police-controlled border, there is no system to apply for the proposed travel permit.

“We recognize that this inconvenience can be quite a challenge for some people, but we appeal to them to follow our instructions to address the impact of COVID-19 on our community,” said Gollschewski.

“You will see police officers and other officials, government officials, on the go from one minute past midnight … to make sure these measures work.”

Many residents say it is difficult to prevent people from crossing the border, but measures to protect the community have been taken, Gollschewski said.

Media cameraPolice will man roadblocks to ensure that the Queensland border barrier is met. Image: Adam Head

“The fact is we are trying to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” he said.

“So it’s about the large number of people who come across something. The fact that someone could sneak somewhere in the background on a dirt road is probably not the focus of it. This is really about the large number of people on large Corridors. “

FULL LIST OF CLOSED ROADS:

• Nerang-Murwillumbah Road in Springbrook

• Tomewin Mountain Road in the Currumbin Valley

• Kent Street at the intersection with Toolan Street in Coolangatta

• Dixon Street roundabout with no access to Queensland from Charles Street to Florence Street in Coolangatta

• Dixon Street at the intersection with Bay Street in Coolangatta

• Miles Street in Coolangatta across from the Len Peak Oval.

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