The Queensland border remains to outsiders one of the hardest artificial barriers to cross in Australia, but there is a way into the Sunshine State.
Though if you’re not a Queenslander, don’t expect a border passport.
Queensland Police have intercepted more than 230,000 vehicles at the state’s border since entry restrictions were imposed in March.
Nearly 3000 have been turned away.
Its borders remain firmly closed to interstate travellers, despite only five active coronavirus cases.
As of Monday, Queensland Police have intercepted more than 238,529 vehicles at state border checkpoints, with 2848 vehicles turned around, a Queensland Police Service spokesperson told The New Daily.
“Let me make it very clear, the border will remain closed for the month of June,” Premier Annastacia Palaczczuk declared, as people across the country were allowed to resume some parts of their old lives with the easing of lockdown measures on Monday.
Queensland celebrated zero new cases for the third straight day on Sunday, but a decision to review easing border restrictions won’t be made for another two weeks.
In the meantime, if you’re desperate to visit Queensland, don’t bother showing up to the border unless you have a valid entry pass.
If you’re already a resident, you must fill out a short online questionnaire that apart from asking for your personal details, requires you to declare whether you’ve returned from overseas or travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days.
Non-residents who are not exempt under the Border Restrictions Direction or don’t have a Chief Health Officer exemption are not eligible for a Queensland Entry Pass.
Passing through and stopping at remote communities is also a big no-no.
You’ll need a Remote Communities Pass for that.
“Where a person does not meet the requirement of being an exempt resident or exempt person, they are turned around at the border and not permitted to enter Queensland,” a police spokesperson said.
“Anyone who fails to comply with public health directions, as outlined in Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005, may be issued with a $1334 infringement notice.”
Similar to Queensland, anyone wanting to enter Western Australia needs to apply for an exemption.
But entry is not guaranteed, at least for anyone thinking about holidaying there.
On the upside, residents are allowed to travel in the state for the most part.
See you in the NT? Probably not
In the Northern Territory, you’ll be relegated to a nearby hotel for two weeks of quarantine.
That’s unless you’re automatically exempt from the strict border controls due to the essential nature of your work.
All others who want to “avoid unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship”, must first seek permission to enter into the Northern Territory.
Those wishing to visit a dying family member, attend a loved one’s funeral, or just collect critical goods will be banking on receiving a letter of approval from the Chief Health Officer Delegate, granting an exemption from quarantine.
Otherwise, upon entry, you will be escorted to a designated location where you will be monitored and accommodated for 14 days of forced quarantine.
And you’ll have to cough up the costs.
If you end up in isolation alone, you’ll be required to pay $2500 for accommodation, food and medical support.
You’re also paying for the cost of security and policing.
Families with two or more people sharing accommodation need to pay $5000.
In both instances, they’ll be made to sign a deed upon entry agreeing to pay the quarantine fee.
Even if you are granted approval to visit the NT, you can stay for no longer than 48 hours – and be prepared to present a physical copy of your travel plan to police.
If you’re travelling from one NT border to another, you’re not allowed to stop for reasons other than filling up the tank, resting from driving, and overnight accommodation that is part of your travel plan.
All in all, if you can avoid travel, do so at least until June 15, when interstate travellers will be able to choose their quarantine arrangements.
For Territorians desperate to travel within the region, the state health department has advised against travelling through remote communities, and that stops are only made in towns.
You’re advised to only take the main roads, including the Stuart, Arnhem, Barkly and Victoria highways.
And travel restrictions regarding remote and vulnerable indigenous communities remain in place.
Those arriving in Tasmania must have with them a completed Arrival Form, which they can’t submit electronically.
And it does not matter whether you’re an essential or non-essential worker, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Tasmanian residents can generally complete their quarantine at home, whereas non-essential travellers will have to do so at government-provided accommodation.