Police warning as huge tailback builds at border
MOTORISTS attempting to cross the Queensland/NSW border are facing hour-long delays as police warn the worst is yet to come ahead of Saturday's closure to NSW and the ACT.
Gold Coast Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said changes to the border system were going to cause "significant delays".
Supt Wheeler said residents in border towns could apply for exemptions to travel from Friday by providing identification, but the finer details were still being worked through.
Traffic was already beginning to build up on the Pacific Motorway with 50 minute delays recorded on Thursday morning.
"Unfortunately, that will increase over the weekend and the days to come. That's unavoidable, we have to ensure proper scrutiny of each vehicle and the occupants," Supt Wheeler said.
"I'd anticipate it's probably going to be a little bit worse (than the traffic we have seen previously) because we've seen such a large area declared as hot spots.
There are long lines at the Queensland/New South Wales border. There's just over a day to go before the state's borders are slammed shut to all residents of New South Wales, and the ACT. #covid19 #7NEWS https://t.co/8ZtWzPnTSY— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) August 6, 2020
"The entirety of Victoria, NSW and the ACT have all been declared and that's a lot of people.
"As people either mistakenly or deliberately attempt to come into Queensland we have to deal with them individually, we have to deal with vehicles one by one, and of course that is going to lead to significant delays.
"Anecdotally we are seeing Queensland residents return, we're seeing large numbers of Queenslanders having to go into self-funded quarantine and that will continue."
New South Wales and the ACT will join Victoria as hot spots from Saturday 1am.
State disaster co-ordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said people in a declared cross-border community would be able to apply for the new 'X pass' by Friday afternoon.
He said when applying for the pass online people would need to provide identification.
Mr Gollschewski said police were still working through the details of what encompasses a cross-border resident.
He urged people to be patient during the transition to the new system.
"The message is pretty clear, that as of 1am Saturday if you are not otherwise exempt … you're not going to allowed into Queensland if you're coming out of any of the declared hot spots."
Originally published as 'Worse to come': Police warning as huge tailback builds at border