Queensland will be closing its borders to all of NSW from 1:00am on Friday (July 23).
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said Queensland was acting cautiously as COVID-19 outbreaks spread across the country.
From 1:00am, all of NSW will be a declared COVID-19 hotpot for four weeks, pending a possible earlier review.
A border zone “bubble” will be put into place.
Residents living in this zone will be able to come into Queensland for a limited range of reasons, including health care, work, education, essential shopping and to care for vulnerable people.
Queenslanders will be able to travel into the NSW border zone for similar reasons, but no further than the border zone.
Anyone who has been in any part of NSW after 1:00am on Friday will not be allowed to enter Queensland unless they are a returning Queensland resident or a border zone resident, except for a limited range of people who can enter for an essential purpose.
Anyone who is allowed to enter Queensland (except border zone residents) will be required to go into 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine in Brisbane or Cairns, unless granted an exemption.
“Border zone residents already need a Queensland Entry Pass to enter the State and will need to complete a new one every 14 days, unless they have travelled outside the border zone, where they will need to reapply,” Dr Young said.
“Any border zone residents who travel outside of the border zone into other parts of NSW will not be able to enter Queensland for 14 days from their date of travel.”
Checkpoints will be re-erected at the border.
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski asked motorists to be patient and work with police at these checkpoints.
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Mask-wearing has been extended for another week (until 6:00am on July 30) in 11 local council areas: Brisbane City, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redlands, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast council areas.
Stadiums across the State with a capacity of 20,000 spectators or more will be required to reduce capacity to 75 per cent. Spectators will now be required to wear masks when entering and exiting the stadium, when moving around, and when seated (unless consuming food or drink).
However, some other restrictions in south-east Queensland have been eased to match the rest of the State.
From 6:00am on Friday, gatherings in the 11 LGAs can increase from 30 to 100 people, and there will be no limit on people gathering outdoors.
Hospitality businesses will revert back to one person per 2 square metres.
Visitors will also be allowed at hospitals, aged care and disability facilities, and jails.
Attendance numbers at funerals and weddings will also be increased from 100 to 200.
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Dr Young said the NSW hotspot declaration was being put in place for a range of reasons, including increasing numbers of infectious cases south of the border, instances of COVID-19 in sewage detected in an expanding number of LGAs, and increased exposure sites, including in the Queensland’s north.
“Across the country we are seeing how much of a risk COVID-19 remains, especially the Delta variant,” Dr Young said.
“The current outbreak in NSW is particularly concerning.
“I know it has been challenging but we need to remain vigilant until a much larger proportion of the community is vaccinated.”
The ACT would not be declared a hotspot at this time.
“Given the ACT hasn’t recorded a locally acquired case in more than a year and has no active cases, we have chosen not to declare ACT a hotspot at this time,” Dr Young said.
“But of course, we are monitoring the situation closely given its proximity to NSW, and if we do see the risk or cases spread into the ACT, we won’t hesitate to declare it a hotspot.”
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Dr Young again urged anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms to get tested and remain isolated until they received a negative result.
She said it was critical that everyone who is not yet vaccinated and was aged 60 years or over makes an appointment with their GP to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
“If you have had one dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, please get the second dose when it is due,” Dr Young said.
“For people under age 60, please continually review our website for when vaccine is available for your age group.”
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