Queensland has recorded zero new virus cases as tough new measures at the state’s border result in significant delays for drivers in the south-east.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said delays of up to an hour had eased since 9am Monday and reinforced the message for residents not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
“NSW is currently in lockdown, there are stay-at-home provisions, so the movement needs to be minimal,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“These strict border measures are necessary, and they will be enforced.”
The most significant delays were on the Gold Coast as police tightened controls in response to the statewide COVID-19 lockdown in NSW.
More than 600 cars had been turned around in the past 24 hours, compared to less than 100 a day last week, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
“The problem is people are turning up not sure what to do and not having the right exemptions [and] they’re getting turned around,” he told the Nine Network on Monday.
Queensland strengthened its border zone restrictions on Saturday, telling NSW residents they could enter only to obtain essential goods and services they couldn’t get otherwise.
Restrictions on workers entering from NSW have also been tightened to exclude teachers, childcare workers and construction workers on “non-critical” projects.
“It is a big operation but it’s for a very important purpose so we need people to work with us on this,” Mr Gollschewski said.
“The good news is we haven’t had to fine anyone, so mostly it’s people not understanding what’s required of them and, unfortunately, they’re getting turned around.”
Meanwhile, plans between the state and federal governments for a 1000-bed international quarantine facility near Brisbane Airport are progressing.
A memorandum of understanding calls for the site to be operational by mid-2022, The Australian reports.
The Commonwealth last month offered land occupied by the Damascus Barracks at Pinkenba for the hub.
Ms Palaszczuk said in July she would continue to push for a separate 1000-bed facility near Toowoomba, which together with arrangements at Pinkenba would allow the state to double its intake of returned travellers.