UPDATE: Border zone created between NSW and QLD

The Queensland Government has announced overnight new rules surrounding the Border Closure with New South Wales which will take effect at 1am on Saturday 8 August 2020. These new rules replace those set out in EDM provided to members yesterday 6 August 2020 and are set by the Border Restrictions Direction (No.11). (You can view that EDM here)  The border closure will apply until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced.

These new rules specify that from 1am on 8 August 2020 any person who has been in New South Wales or the ACT within the previous fourteen (14) days will no longer be able to 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 travelled either outside of the border zone in NSW or to the ACT is able to return home to Queensland, provided they have a Queensland Border Declaration Pass, but will be required to quarantine for 14 days which may be in government provided accommodation at their personal expense.

What are the new restrictions and what does this mean for Members?

Under the Queensland Government Border restrictions Direction (No. 11) there are certain new restrictions to the strict prohibition to enter Queensland from a Covid-19 Hotspot. These new restrictions, in addition to the restrictions that were previously outlined in our eDM on 6 August 2020, are set out in Clause 11 and in summary are:

(a)    A person who is a Queensland resident, the person is moving to Queensland as a new resident or the person is a border zone resident who is a Queensland resident. A Border zone resident who is a New South Wales resident is not permitted to enter Queensland if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot outside the border zone; or

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

(c)    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 if the person  arrives to Coolangatta airport from an approved airport, transits directly by road to leave Queensland without leaving the vehicle. An approved airport is any airport other than Melbourne airport located in Tullamarine, Victoria.

(d)    The person is entering Queensland to obtain specialist health care, or as a support person to a person obtaining specialist health care, that cannot be obtained at their place of residence and provides evidence of the time and place in Queensland that the specialist health care is to be provided.

The list of what is classified as an “essential activity” is set out in Schedule 1 has been expanded and now includes: 

•    National Defence, State Security and Police;

•    Health Services and Emergency Services;

•    Transport Freight and Logistics (provided the driver and each passenger has a border pass), including those persons who are:
  1. Providing logistics and support for the transport which requires the person to be physically present in Queensland to provide the logistics support e.g. a specialist mechanic providing mechanical support for the transport of goods is providing an essential activity.
Specialist worker – being a person required to provide emergency services or continuity of government services, industry, infrastructure or utilities critical to Queensland in the following:
  • Construction, including construction of transport infrastructure;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Resources, as a critical resources sector employee;
  • Energy;
  • Agribusiness or commercial fishing, but not as a seasonal worker;
  • Emergency services; or
  • Continuity of critical government or government funded services, infrastructure, or utilities.

but only if:

(a)    The services provide by the person cannot be obtained in Queensland; and
(b)    The service must be provided without delay; and
(c)    The person must be physically present in Queensland to provide the service or perform the duty; and
(d)    The person’s status is approved as a specialist worker approved by the Chief Health Officer; and
(e)    The person’s employer has a plan to manage preventing the transmission of Covid-19 amongst its employees and the community, and the plan complies with the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer; and
(f)    The person provides evidence of the following information upon arrival in Queensland:
  1. Their status as an approved specialist worker; and
  2. The name of their employer; and
  3. That they are entering Queensland to go directly to work; and
  4. The location of the worksite or work camp; and
  5. The location of where they will be accommodated in Queensland while performing essential activity; and
(g)    The person complies with any of the conditions forming part of their approval as a specialist worker. 

Who classifies as a “Border Zone Resident”?

Importantly the new rules ease the restrictions on cross border travel for persons in the border zone. This area is comprised in the geographical region defined by post codes which can be found on the Public Health Direction (Covid-19 restrictions) Map located on the Queensland Health Website here.

The NSW postcodes that are included on the border zone are:
 2361  2372  2405
 2406  2409  2410
 2474  2476  2483
 2484  2485  2486
 2487  2488  2489
 2490  2833  2834
 2838  2839  2840

Suffice to say that these exceptions are very restrictive and we strongly recommend that any members who are operating out of NSW or the ACT, and in particular those located outside of the border zone, and who have or may be considering business across the NSW/QLD border to immediately review their 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 person’s circumstances change such as being diagnosed with Covid-19, whichever 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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