Queensland is pushing forward its long-awaited reopening, removing all interstate travel restrictions on December 13 — four days earlier than expected — and allowing residents to walk freely across the NSW border zone, the Australian government said on Monday.
Thousands of individuals, including those who have been shut out of Queensland since July, will be able to return once the border is reopened. People who were in hotspots in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia will be eligible to enter the state starting at 1 a.m. on Monday.
Queensland, on the other hand, has escaped the large-scale Covid epidemics that have afflicted Sydney and Melbourne.
On Monday, December 13th, at 1 a.m., the Queensland border will open. To verify that arrivals match entrance rules, police checkpoints will remain in place at road crossings and airports, the government said.
“From the 13th of December, fully vaccinated people from proclaimed “hotspots” – which include NSW, Victoria, and South Australia – will be permitted to enter by road or air”, they added.
“One week after receiving their second dosage of an approved vaccine, a person is deemed completely immunised. Anyone crossing the border into Queensland from a declared hotspot must show proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before to entering”, the government guidelines read, adding that five days after arrival, visitors from hotspots must take a second test.
Border dwellers who have been vaccinated will be able to acquire a 14-day border permit that will let them to freely cross the border without the requirement for a PCR test.
Although logistics are still being ironed out, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has warned residents to “pack your patience” and expect lengthy waits.
Police may do random inspections or stop all automobiles crossing the road border, according to Carroll. Number-plate scanning equipment is also used by police to keep track of all vehicles entering the state.
“To expedite the procedure, make sure that everyone entering Queensland has a border pass that is visible and clearly displayed.” Please travel outside of the regular peak hours, motorists.
“Police will be waiting for you at the border, especially at the road borders, where we’ll conduct random to 100 percent compliance checks.”
International visitors will still be required to quarantine at home or in a hotel.
Queensland has acknowledged that it will be unable to follow a Covid zero approach in the future, but those outbreaks may be addressed with targeted lockdowns or mask mandates.
Queensland has already announced that unvaccinated people will be barred from various public venues, like as cafés and restaurants, four days later, on December 17th.