Travel SOS: Can I get into Queensland without a border passport?

If you don’t have a border passport, don’t bother showing up to the border.

Travel SOS: Can I get into Queensland without a border passport?

Elaine wants to know when she can visit Queensland.

•••

Q. Elaine
My friends and I can’t wait to get to Queensland, but I’m told we can’t go quite yet. When will we be allowed to go? Do we need one of these border passports to get there? Are they even real?

A. Travellers might be forgiven for thinking there has been a solid unbreachable wall erected along the Queensland border.

Right now, it’s one of the most difficult borders for outsiders to cross.

A shame, too, as for you and the many, it’s one of the most desirable states for southerners coming out of lockdown and looking for some warmer weather in which to spread their COVID-19 clipped wings.

According to The New Daily, Queensland Police have intercepted 238,529 vehicles at the state’s border since entry restrictions were imposed in March and have turned 2484 away.

“Let me make it very clear, the border will remain closed for the month of June,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaczczuk.

Queensland celebrated zero new coronavirus cases for the third straight day last Sunday and, at the time of writing, has only five active cases. But don’t expect a decision to ease border restrictions to be made for at least another two weeks.

In other words, if you don’t have a border passport, don’t bother showing up to the border. Yet.

What are these ‘border passports’?

In Queensland, they’re called a Queensland Entry Pass.

If you’re a Queensland resident, you’ll need to fill out a short online questionnaire, listing personal details and whether you’ve returned from overseas or travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days.

Non-residents who are not exempt under the Border Restrictions Direction, or don’t have an exemption from the chief health officer, are ineligible for a pass.

“Where a person does not meet the requirement of being an exempt resident or exempt person, they are turned around at the border and not permitted to enter Queensland,” said a police spokesperson.

“Anyone who fails to comply with public health directions, as outlined in Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005, may be issued with a $1334 infringement notice.”

queensland coronavirus quarantine road signs

Queensland is not the only state turning travellers back at the border.

You’ll need a similar document to enter Western Australia.

Entry is not guaranteed for non-residents thinking about holidaying there, but local residents are allowed to travel intrastate.

Sounds harsh? Once you enter the Northern Territory, you’ll be shepherded to a nearby hotel for two weeks of quarantine – unless the essential nature of your work exempts you from the strict border controls.

But if you want to “avoid unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship”, you must first get permission from the chief health officer delegate to enter into the Northern Territory.

That includes those wishing to visit a dying family member, attend a funeral, or collect critical goods.

If you don’t have permission, you’ll be escorted, monitored and accommodated for 14 days of forced quarantine – at your expense.

That’ll set you back around $2500 for accommodation, food and medical support, as well as security and policing. Families of two or more will need to pay $5000.

And even if you’re permitted to visit the NT, you can only stay for 48 hours maximum. You’ll also need to show police a physical copy of your travel plan.

After 15 June, interstate travellers will be able to choose their own quarantine arrangements.

Territorians wishing to travel within NT’s borders are advised to take only the main roads, including the Stuart, Arnhem, Barkly and Victoria highways, and avoid travelling through remote communities. Stops are only to be made in towns.

Travel restrictions in or through remote and vulnerable indigenous communities remain in place.

You’ll also need a completed ‘arrival form’ when dropping into Tasmania, which cannot be submitted electronically beforehand. And essential and non-essential workers will be required to self-isolate at government-provided accommodation for 14 days upon arrival, unless you’re a resident, in which case you can quarantine at home.

How keen are you to get to Queensland?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    SuziJ
    13th Jun 2020
    7:44am
    Not at all. I think I'll pass winter in my beautiful home town on the NSW/Vic border, thanks.

    I have no hankering to visit other states.

    I'm waiting for my elderly aunt's village to lift restrictions so that I can visit her on the South Coast of NSW.
    Bundabergian
    13th Jun 2020
    9:17am
    I am in Queensland. Last week a covid positive fruit picker flew from Melbourne, had a night in Brisbane then flew up here. It seems he is an essential worker, ha bloody ha.
    Frankly
    13th Jun 2020
    9:59am
    I am in Queensland and consider the border closure a complete over reaction with mainly political point scoring in mind. Look at the damage it's doing to ordinary people trying to survive and run a business! People are just so gullible!
    Sen.Cit.90
    13th Jun 2020
    12:31pm
    Hi, Franky, I understand your sentiments, however, I do agree with the Premier waiting to June end to open the borders; this may give time to see if the mass gatherings have any effect on the COVID-19 spreading. The protesters have scant regard for the health ministers' safety advice.
    john
    13th Jun 2020
    2:46pm
    Well, Franky , I think being gullible is not the problem with this. I think, actually I am sure that it was the fact that no one really knew what to expect when China finally told the world something really bad had happened.
    Of course the numbers never went, (or haven't yet) to anywhere near The Spanish Flu Pandemic. But remember that 2nd and 3rd waves of pandemics tend to become worse than the first and the first has already mutated into 3 types, a, b and c type.

    So yes, there is a bit of overreaction and perhaps the virus is not as deadly as thought, as influenza kills more people every year.
    The fact is simple , when you don't know and when you have no vaccine or medication, then you put up every wall you think you need, and then take a bit of time , to let the virus settle or fade a little (because it will never leave now) then you can start opening up.

    But I think the opening up is getting pretty close now, I just don't know about overseas travel?? Except our cousins in NZ maybe?

    13th Jun 2020
    11:28am
    I live in NSW near Tweed Heads I have no problem getting into Queensland not all the border is cut off some roads all though not that well known will get you there.
    Mariner
    13th Jun 2020
    11:55am
    Same for me Trebor, go into Qld every 2nd day. Just don't take a vehicle. Walk across and then take public transport on the other side. My doctor's surgery is in Qld and he lives in NSW. Sad to see all the businesses going bust, lots of empty shops.
    Anonymous
    13th Jun 2020
    2:22pm
    You are correct Mariner many businesses are closed just due to plain stupidness by the premier who surely must be removed in the next election in QLD, you can't justify breaking businesses just to try and save your political position.
    Sundays
    13th Jun 2020
    12:37pm
    The border will open in July. I support the Premier in keeping the border closed. Qld s in a good place re Coronsvirus and that is how it needs to stay. Also, I doubt that Tourism will get the boost it needs. School holidays are short, Grey Nomads don’t spend much and it will be s long time before overseas tourists return. We are in a recession people! Many are justifiably worried about their finances once Job Seeker and Job Keeper payments are slashed.
    vincent
    13th Jun 2020
    1:00pm
    About time the political grandstanding of the premiers of WA and Queensland stops. It makes absolutely no difference when you open the borders. The virus is in the population and you will get localized outbreaks. Until a vaccine is available there will be no eradication of this problem. So it is a matter of managing it. Hard to get that through their thick skulls in the meantime the economy is going down the chute. So which one the worst of the two evils. And as far that loose remark of Sunday is concerned re the grey nomads, pull your head in mate. A lot of little towns would be worse of without them.
    vincent
    13th Jun 2020
    1:00pm
    About time the political grandstanding of the premiers of WA and Queensland stops. It makes absolutely no difference when you open the borders. The virus is in the population and you will get localized outbreaks. Until a vaccine is available there will be no eradication of this problem. So it is a matter of managing it. Hard to get that through their thick skulls in the meantime the economy is going down the chute. So which one the worst of the two evils. And as far that loose remark of Sunday is concerned re the grey nomads, pull your head in mate. A lot of little towns would be worse of without them.
    Stoney
    13th Jun 2020
    2:27pm
    As we all know, Premier Palascucker is not very popular, especially in North Queensland, but, as this is the time of year when germs, colds, flu, etc., are brought up here from southern states, many people would be happy to be germ free for once. If the scientists are correct, and these viruses continue to become more prevalent and more serious, border closures could be a regular thing. (In the 1950's and 60's, we had to stop at the border to have cars checked for possible transmission of banana pests and so on).
    Mariner
    13th Jun 2020
    3:47pm
    Remember the days when we all got sprayed with a can before being allowed to get off the plane? Lots of people have forgotten and it is not that long ago either. They almost got us where they want us - stay home, work from home and order everything on line. No cash any more either and we will have become see-thru people. Now they propose to topple statues and remove certain books from the libraries because of racist make believe stories. A bit like the Nazis or more recently - Pol Pot in Kampuchea. Today back again to Cambodia after all that destruction.
    vinradio
    13th Jun 2020
    2:30pm
    If you get the virus, or worse still die, you won't be running a business anyway!
    BTM
    14th Jun 2020
    2:41pm
    Wonder who the bright spark was who arrived at the amount of the border patrol maximum penalty, $66,725. Wonder if it includes GST?
    Roy R
    14th Jun 2020
    5:18pm
    Do you notice that it is the backward and inbred states that do not want civilized folk to enter?
    KSS
    14th Jun 2020
    9:03pm
    Two weeks into winter, cold weather barely in evidence and people whining about not going to QLD. Get a grip. Explore your own state. Go to a hard hit area for a few days and wait it out. When borders open in a few more weeks, fill your boots. Until then stop whinging.


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