Border crossing points slashed to just four
THERE will be only four entry points into the Gold Coast from New South Wales from midnight tonight as the state tightens its borders.
Motorists at the remaining 14 boundary crossing will be welcomed by immovable road blocks.
Police will run "RBT"-style checkpoints at the four portals which remain open.
And while police will be checking as many cars coming into Queensland as possible, only a small fraction will interact with officers, who at this time will not have the power to deny entry into the state.
Instead they will serve a notice to non-Queensland residents coming into the state to self-isolate for 14 days or face hefty fines up to $13,000.
The people checked will be required to tell police where they are staying while in Queensland.
The check points will be fully manned. Police will not be monitoring cars leaving Queensland.
The hope is the threat of a fine and the closure of most entry points, as well as common decency, will keep people away from Queensland and slow the spread of the virus.
If the spread of the virus does not slow, it is expected the border closures and the checks will become a lot more stringent, with the potential for every car to be stopped.
Police said they were working on a system to keep cars previously checked moving.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday said crossing the border would be restricted to non-Queensland residents, outside of essential travel.
Government officials and police officers would be at the border crossings from 12.01am tomorrow morning, authorities said.
Essential reasons for crossing the border include:
● Going to work.
● Taking children to school.
● People seeking urgent medical attention.
● Court orders including family court.
● Compassionate grounds.
The restrictions will apply to people travelling by road, plane, train and boat.
Ms Palaszczuk said the decision was not taken lightly.
"This is for your own public health," she said.
"We do not have the resources to spend contact tracing all those people and checking where they are staying.
"I urge people, if you live in another state, do not go through with the school holidays, stay at home, stay in your state, stay in your suburb.
"If you are an essential worker, you will be able to come into Queensland, if you deliver freight, you will be able to come.
"But we do not want people coming to Queensland for a holiday break. This is not holiday break season, this is the season to stay home."
Mayor Tom Tate supported the move: "I welcome the idea … stay out of Queensland for now and we will welcome you back when this is all over," he said.
Originally published as Border crossing points slashed to just four