QUEENSLAND has shut its border but freight movement will be one of the essential services allowed to continue unimpeded, the state government says.
From midnight on Wednesday, the following measures are to take effect:
- Border road closures and police checks on vehicles on major highways
- Advice to aircraft passengers at departure point that travellers to Queensland will be required to self-isolate for 14 days
- Travellers arriving at Queensland airports to be met by police and other officers
- Termination of rail services
- Emergency vehicles
- Emergency workers
- Those travelling to and from work
- Court orders including family court
- Compassionate grounds
- Medical treatment
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was essential to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“Extra-ordinary times call for extra-ordinary measures,” the Premier said.
“They are not directed at our border communities who cross to shop or work, attend medical appointments and return to their homes.
“They are to stop holidaymakers leaving southern states and risking the spread of this virus through Queensland.”
Anyone travelling to Queensland, not usually resident in Queensland, for any other reason will have to agree to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they are ill.
Penalties include fines of up to $13,345.
According to the state government, the Queensland/New South Wales border last closed at the end of World War One to contain the Spanish flu.
The Premier said the better the community observed measures to restrict travel and avoid personal contact, the sooner the virus spread could be contained.
The Queensland move came as health authorities in NSW have confirmed Australia’s eighth coronavirus death — a female passenger in her 70s who had been on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
NSW Health told the ABC the woman, who was among the first group of people infected on the ship, died in hospital.
There have been 133 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 aboard the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney last week.
The woman is the seventh person to die from COVID-19 in NSW with Australia’s other fatality in WA.