Queensland to close borders to prevent coronavirus spread

·3-min read

Queensland's borders will be closed in a bid to halt COVID-19 spreading from interstate.

It comes after people were blocked from hanging out publicly and in large groups to comply with Australia's strict new social shutdown policies.

The state government made the decision on Monday.

Regardless of whether people are showing symptoms or not, people travelling to Queensland will have to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival, according to the ABC.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the national closure of bars, pubs, clubs, casinos, indoor sports venues and religious venues to control coronavirus is being enforced.

Queenslanders must take the new measures seriously.

Council elections and by-elections in Currumbin and Ipswich are going ahead on Saturday after postal voting and pre-polling periods were extended to avoid mass crowds.

Health Minister Steven Miles says there have been 60 additional cases confirmed overnight, bringing the state's total to 319.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has already announced a 500-officer-strong taskforce to enforce the dramatic shutdowns announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday night.

Queensland announced a task force looking at Brisbane's party precinct at the weekend.

"I talked yesterday about some tough love and more will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months," Ms Palaszczuk said on Monday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks to the media during a press conference at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. The state government decided on Monday Queensland's borders will close. Source: AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces Queensland's borders will close. Source: AAP

"We know that if we are all playing our part and we're all working together, we can absolutely get through this."

She said there was light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, but only if everyone followed orders to stay 1.5 metres away from each other, and the government's social closure orders.

South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all effectively shut their borders to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone arriving in South Australia, the Northern Territory or Western Australia will be subject to a 14-day isolation period.

Tasmania has implemented strict coronavirus border measures, which will be followed up by spot checks to make sure people who enter the state are self-isolating.

All "non-essential" travellers arriving from midnight on Friday were made to stay in quarantine for two weeks, in restrictions labelled the toughest in the country.

All holidays should be cancelled, premier says

Holidays planned during the school break should also be cancelled.

That means families are barred from packing up the car and hitting the road, going camping or heading to the beach.

"We want to send a clear message to people to stay in your state and stay in your suburb," Ms Palaszczuk added.

"There is no school holidays."

She has defended the national decision to keep schools open, however parents can choose to keep their children at home where they can learn online.

The Prince Charles Hospital is opening a fever clinic to deal with patients who arrive at the hospital with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. Source: AAP
The Prince Charles Hospital is opening a fever clinic to deal with patients who arrive at the hospital with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. Source: AAP

Teachers are angered by the two sets of rules and say that no one is talking about what might happen to them if they're infected by students.

They report public schools don't have enough hand sanitiser and soap, and there is no possible way for them to enforce the four-square-meters per person rule in classrooms.

Hospitals are beginning to reschedule less urgent surgeries to make way for those in need of treatment for the novel coronavirus, and Queenslanders are being urged to donate blood.

The arrival of four cruise ships in Sydney carrying thousands of people who have since spread across Australia has Mr Miles worried after some passengers tested positive for the illness.

"We're in the process of contacting all of them," he said.

"They are all required to cut themselves off for 14 days."

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