News Coronavirus Queensland dismantles border checkpoints – but SA residents remain locked out

Queensland dismantles border checkpoints – but SA residents remain locked out

queensland border lockdown
Queensland is opening up to all NSW and Victorian residents. But SA locals remain excluded for at least another week. Photo: Getty
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Queensland border restrictions will remain in place for South Australia for another week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said chief health officer Jeannette Young had asked for another week to further assess the situation in South Australia.

“I will accept that advice,” she said.

“We want to make sure that everything is perfectly safe when we can lift those borders, and we do have that aspiration that everyone can travel freely for Christmas,” she said.

Dr Young said South Australia remained a risk.

“Although we’ve reviewed the situation in South Australia and it looks good, they’re not at 33 cases related to that cluster, they still are continuing to have cases and areas of concern,” she said.

“Most of the states and territories in Australia still have some limitation on movements from Adelaide to their state, so we will continue that here in Queensland and continue to review it over the next week.”

Dr Young said she would reassess whether to open the border to South Australia then.

“It will just depend what happens,” she said.

Queensland will welcome people from across NSW and Victoria from December 1, however. Police have urged people to be patient crossing the reopened border as they dismantle substation checkpoints and barricades.

Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler has praised officers, health workers, community and media ahead of the borders reopening at 1am on Tuesday.

“All of the people from NSW and Victoria, provided you haven’t been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days, post 1am you’ll be welcome to drive through, police will not be checking border passes because you won’t need one,” Superintendent Wheeler said.

However, he said there still could be some delays as officers took down the checkpoints.

Orange plastic barricades still need to be drained of water and taken away, while hundreds of metres of concrete barricades on the M1 will take longer to remove.

“I’d ask people just for one more day, be a little bit patient,” Superintendent Wheeler said.

“We’re doing everything we can to get all of that infrastructure up, but we need to do it safely. And I think the wait will be worth it.”

He said the “mammoth operation” of manning the border checkpoints had taken police away from normal duties and put them at the mercy of extreme weather in the south-east and further west.

Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk also announced some further easing of restrictions in Queensland.

From 1am on December 1, groups of 100 will be allowed to gather in parks – an increase from 50.

Ms Palaszczuk said school photos and family photos could also be taken with people standing close together.

-with agencies