Troops deployed along Queensland-NSW border over Covid outbreak

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·News Reporter
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Troops will once again be deployed along Queensland's closed border with NSW as the state moves to nullify the threat of the highly-infectious Delta variant from the south.

As NSW's Covid crisis rapidly worsened on Wednesday with a daunting 633 locally acquired cases, 100 Australian Defence Force personnel will now be deployed on the border as Queensland tightens its control over who is entering the state. 

The soldiers were a request from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who is said to be delighted with their deployment, the ABC reported.

On Wednesday she said she was concerned over the escalating situation in NSW.

ADF soldiers were deployed on the border last year. Source: Nine
ADF soldiers were deployed on the border last year. Source: Nine

Ms Palaszczuk announced it was now a requirement for essential workers crossing the border to have had at least one jab of either vaccine.

"There are too many people crossing the border, so that means we want to put even tighter restrictions on our border," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"It only takes one person crossing the border with Delta, and we're into a lockdown."

Essential workers include police officers, health workers and some construction workers.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the definition of "essential" would be reviewed for Queensland workers living in NSW.

The director-general of the premier's department, Rachel Hunter, will conduct the review and new restrictions will come into effect next week.

The move comes as police investigate a family who travelled from Sydney to Townsville without quarantining before a boy in the family told his school teacher he was from a hotspot.

Queensland's lengthy border closure to NSW became a contentious issue last year, with both state's premiers publicly criticising each other's stances. Source: Getty
Queensland's lengthy border closure to NSW became a contentious issue last year, with both state's premiers publicly criticising each other's stances. Source: Getty

Police 'terribly sorry' for strict border controls

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police would continue the "very rigid application" of public health orders at border checkpoints.

"We're hearing lots of sad stories around how this impacts on people, I'm terribly sorry about that; we are going to continue to do that," he said.

"You must meet the requirements to enter the state or you're simply not entering."

Dr Young says border closures and lockdowns remain the best health responses to outbreaks until 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated.

"Then people will be able to go about their lives," she said.

"Otherwise, I can see in the future that the people who aren't vaccinated are going to have to minimise their lives to protect their own health and safety."

Queensland recorded one new Covid-19 case in hotel quarantine and four new cases on a liquefied natural gas tanker off the coast on Wednesday.

With AAP

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