Queensland has introduced one of the strictest Covid border measures the nation has seen on essential workers from NSW.
Essential workers needing to cross the Queensland border will need to be vaccinated from Friday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the new policy on Monday morning and said it would start being enforced on Friday as the delta outbreak continues to creep towards her state from NSW.
“They will be required from Friday to have at least one dose of their vaccination,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We are extremely concerned about the possibility of this virus coming into Queensland so we will take every precaution we possibly can.
“The positive sewage testing for Delta has been creeping northwards, so we are very concerned.”
Residents of the border zone will only be able to enter Queensland if they need to obtain essential goods they cannot “reasonably obtain” in NSW, or for essential work.
The full list of exempt workers allowed to enter Queensland can be found below but includes health, medical and emergency workers, freight or logistics workers, defence personnel of critical infrastructure workers.
It comes after there were lengthy delays at the Queensland-NSW border on Monday morning, after the sunny state introduced its toughest border measures to date.
Following the announcement that all of NSW would be plunged into a seven-day lockdown, the Premier on Sunday announced police would be checking every person who was attempting to enter her state.
“These are probably the tightest border controls we’ve put in place, they are going to be very strict,” she said.
“We worked very hard to get extra police presence down there … because all of New South Wales is in a lockdown position there should be very minimal movement over their border, and that extra police presence will ensure that we will do everything we can to keep Queenslanders safe.”
The crackdown came after New South Wales recorded 415 Covid-19 cases on Sunday.
Ms Palaszczuk said the delays had easy since 9am and were down to one hour on the M1 and 28 minutes on the Gold Coast Highway.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll warned motorists to expect delays if they were crossing the border, with long queues forming before sunrise on Monday.
“Every vehicle will be intercepted, please be patient, please comply and please work with us,” she said.
The crackdown has plunged some border zone schools into chaos, with dozens of teachers and students barred from going to work and school.
Under the new rules, teachers are no longer considered essential and only children of a tightened list of essential workers are able to go to school.
Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, will have several teachers absent on Monday.
In a post on Facebook, the school said “most students will experience a change in their teaching and learning experiences”.
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