Queensland police turn away hundreds of Victorian travellers under new border controls

| 07.07,20. 05:29 PM |

Queensland police turn away hundreds of Victorian travellers under new border controls

More than 700 people have been refused entry at the Queensland and New South Wales border.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Queensland police officers have refused entry to more than 740 people travelling from Victoria since new border restrictions came into force on Friday.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said 63 people had been placed into mandatory hotel quarantine after flying into Queensland from Victoria since the noon deadline on July 3.

Tougher restrictions were introduced for people travelling into Queensland from Victoria last week, with the whole state declared a coronavirus hotspot by Queensland's Chief Health Officer.

The state's borders will reopen to all other states and territories from this Friday.

Mr Gollschewski said 17 flights from Victoria had arrived in Queensland's airports since the mandatory hotel quarantine direction began, with Queensland police refusing entry to 33 people.

At the state's New South Wales border, 709 people have been refused entry, with 12 people being placed into quarantine.

Queensland police said about 185,000 border-declaration forms had been downloaded since Friday, the system introduced last week for people to be able to enter the state's border.

From July 10, interstate residents will have to apply for a new declaration pass for entry into Queensland, proving they have not been to Victoria in the previous fortnight.

Mr Gollschewski said there had been some issues with the system.

"It's fair to say that initially that was difficult and we expected that," he said.

"Every time we have brought in new controls, particularly at our road borders and our airports, that has been problematic.

"We do fully expect that on Friday with the move to more people being able to come into the state, that the increased traffic flows and passenger flows through our airports will put more pressure on our system."

Nightclubs to be investigated
Mr Gollschewski said behaviour at nightclubs on the weekend was being investigated after footage emerged on social media of patrons flouting social-distancing rules on dancefloors.

"It was very disappointing to see some of the vision that we have seen of nightclubs once we eased the restrictions," he said.

"The message I give to all of those operators out there, if you're going to do that sort of thing, expect it to be vigorously investigated.

"If you've done the wrong thing, we're going to take action.

"Blatant disregard for the laws won't be tolerated."

Mr Gollschewski also discouraged people from participating in mass gatherings for protest activities.

"Some of these people have had their opportunity to make their statements, they've made it very clear about how they see things," he said.

"The time now is to show some restrain and abide by the chief health officers' directions and make sure that we minimise the risk of COVID re-establishing itself in this state.

"It's disappointing that people still want to do this.

"It puts us in a very difficult position at a time where we already working very hard to keep our borders controlled, keep the airport quarantine working and deal with the general policing that goes on in our community."

ADF member tests positive
Overnight, the state recorded its first new case of coronavirus in 11 days.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said an Australia Defence Force employee tested positive in quarantine after returning from overseas.

"We have absolutely zero concerns about that person," she said.

She also thanked people for their patience, dealing with changes to the paperwork required to cross into Queensland.

"There have been some delays and I make no apologies for keeping Queensland safe," she said.

Coronavirus live news: Follow all the latest information in our blog.
Ms Palaszczuk said people hoping to cross the border after midday this coming Friday should also expect significant delays.

The state now has two cases listed as active, and 1,068 total cases.

More than 395,000 tests have been carried out across Queensland since late January.


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