Queensland is bracing for the inundation of close to 250,000 visitors, despite tough new measures being introduced.
Queensland is bracing for the inundation of close to 250,000 visitors, despite tough new measures being introduced.

Border gridlock: Warning as 250k visitors set to flood in

QUEENSLAND is bracing for the inundation of close to 250,000 visitors despite tough new measures being introduced that will prevent any people from Victoria from entering.

The Premier on Thursday announced strict new restrictions that will prevent anyone from Victoria - with a few exceptions - from entering the state, including those who were planning on going into quarantine here.

A few exemptions to that rule include essential specialist workers, as well as for health, legal or compassionate grounds, but the major new clampdown won't prevent an expected surge of people trying to cross the border when restrictions are lifted from noon on Friday.

Everybody - including Queensland residents - will need a border declaration pass and proof they have not been in Victoria for the past fortnight before they will be allowed in.

In spite of that, police deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski said more than 238,000 border pass declaration passes had been filled out since the new measure came into effect.

"That indicates to us that over 238,000 people are intending to come to Queensland in the next week," he said.

"That is a lot of people.

"That will mean that we will see congestion and delays."

He also confirmed nearly 200 people who had arrived into Queensland via airports had been put into hotel quarantine after coming out of a COVID hot spot.

There were also 15 people who had been put into quarantine after arriving at the road border.

It is understood the majority of those people are Queenslanders returning from the Garden State.

"I expect that with the new restrictions that have been announced today that there will be further people turned around," Mr Gollschewski.

"So the message to people coming out of Victoria is really, very clear - unless you have an exemption, unless you are a returning resident, do not come to Queensland."

NSW is on high alert against 'potential seeding' of COVID-19 infections from Victorian residents after recording 13 new cases overnight - 11 in hotel quarantine, and two among residents from Albury on the border with Victoria.

NSW residents who have visited Victoria 14 days before entering the Sunshine State will be turned back.

The Gold Coast's top cop has warned there will be 'congestion, inconvenience and delays' and made an impassioned plea for people to show patience.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler was speaking at Coolangatta ahead of the border reopening at noon on Friday to all states except Victoria.

Motorists were caught up in long traffic jams when the border pass system changed abruptly last Friday and Supt Wheeler warned there would be more of the same tomorrow.

"I think we'll see congestion, I think we'll see inconvenience I think we'll see delays," he said.

"And people who don't have their documentation in place ... they can expect to be in an inspection bay waiting for even longer.

"Look, we've got to look at this through the lense of the fact that we're in a pandemic.

"All of the freedoms, ease of movement and getting around the community like we used to, we've got to adjust to that.

"When you look at what's happened in Victoria, it could happen here if we don't get this right.

"This border is actually a line of defence, not just for the Gold Coast but for Queensland."

Supt Wheeler said that since last Friday, police has intercepted 7800 vehicles at the Gold Coast border checkpoints, turned around 238 vehicles, and directed 42 people into quarantine at the Gold Coast Airport.

He said Victorian grey nomads queued at the border would be able to enter Queensland provided they had accommodation receipts to proof they had been out of their COVID-ravaged state longer than 14 days.

Originally published as Border gridlock: Warning as 250k visitors set to flood in


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