Closure of NSW/QLD Border to Greater Sydney COVID-19 Hotspot

The Queensland government has announced that effective from 1am on Saturday 1 August, 2020 the NSW/QLD Border will be closed to persons travelling from what has been described as the “Greater Sydney” area.

Members should be aware that this area has been defined by the Queensland Government to take in all of the Local Government Areas in the Sydney basin as well as the following Local Government Areas:

Blue Mountains

Central Coast


A full list of the Local Government areas can be found at:

This means that any person who has been in a Covid-19 hotspot within the previous fourteen (14) days will no longer be able to travel into and quarantine in Queensland and will be turned away from the border, unless you fit within a specified list of exceptions which include  persons needed in Queensland for “essential activities” . Any Queensland resident who has been in a Covid-19 hotspot is able to return home to Queensland but will be required to quarantine in government provided accommodation at their personal expense.

What does this mean for Members?

Under the Queensland Government “Border restrictions Direction (No 9)” there are certain exceptions to the strict prohibition to enter Queensland from a Covid-19 Hotspot. These exceptions are set out in Clause 11 and are:

The person’s usual residence is in Queensland; or

To comply with an order to attend a Court or Tribunal or to give effect to orders of a Court or Tribunal; or

To fulfil a legal obligation relating to shared parenting or child access; or

To assist with or participate in a State or Commonwealth law enforcement investigation or other action at the request or direction of a State or Commonwealth department or law enforcement agency; or

To perform an essential activity as outlined in Schedule 1; or

The person arrives by air to an airport in Queensland and  transfers directly to another flight to leave Queensland without leaving the confines of the airport, or quarantines until the time of their flight to leave Queensland; or

The person arrived in the Covid-19 hotspot and used private transport to travel directly from their point of arrival to an airport in the Covid-19 hotspot, without stopping, to depart the Covid-19 hotspot by air; or

The person arrived by air to the Covid-19 hotspot for the sole purpose of transiting through an airport in the Covid-19 hotspot and did not leave the confines of the airport; or

The person travelled by road using private transport and taking the most practicable direct route through the Covid-19 hotspot and without exiting the vehicle except to deal with an emergency or as directed by police or transport authority; or

The person is a student at a higher education institution or boarding school and is entering Queensland for the purpose of receiving instruction, including a parent or guardian accompanying a student who is a minor; or

The person is avoiding serious injury or escaping an immediate risk of serious harm.

The list of what are classified as “essential activities” are set out in Schedule 1 and are:

National defence, state security and Police

Health Services and Emergency Services

Transport Freight and logistics

Specialist worker – being a person required to provide emergency services or continuity of government services, infrastructure or utilities critical to Queensland.

Suffice to say that these exceptions are far more restricted than those operating across the NSW/Victorian border and we strongly recommend that any members who are operating out of the “Greater Sydney” area and may be considering business across the NSW/QLD border to immediately apply for a Border permit for their staff or otherwise reconsider their current business arrangements.

Members should also be reminded that a Queensland Border Pass is only valid for a period of seven (7) days from the date the pass is issued or until a perosn’s circumstances change such as being diagnosed with Covid-19, which ever of these period is the lesser.

If a Member requires any further assistance then please contact the Employment Relations Team at (02) 9016 9000 or email [email protected]
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