Australians and New Zealanders wishing to enter Queensland will once again need to fill out online travel declarations before they arrive, although a cross-border zone will be re-established so certain residents in the Sunshine State and northern NSW won't need to complete multiple forms.
The new rules will come into effect from 1am this Saturday, 19 June, and have been made to support contact tracing efforts.
"It's vital that if an interstate exposure site or hotspot is declared, our health experts can quickly contact anyone who has travelled into Queensland from that area," Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D'Ath said.
"This is the next line of defence for Queensland - if we're able to reach people quickly, it will reduce the risk of COVID-19 in Queensland and manage outbreaks right from the get-go.
"The declaration is made online and is quick and easy, taking only a few minutes to complete, and operates in a similar fashion to the Victorian system."
Following Victoria's lead, Queensland will introduce green, amber and red areas, where green means no travel restrictions, amber signifies interstate exposure venues, and red alerts to a hotspot.
New cases of COVID-19 are emerging in New South Wales and Victoria, and this step is a sensible measure to keep Queenslanders safe. Residents of border communities will be exempt.Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) June 16, 2021
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the declaration would need to be made up to 72 hours prior to travelling to Queensland.
"The travel declaration needs to be made close to your travel, to ensure it reflects the most up-to-date advice," she said.
"Things can change quickly with COVID-19 we've seen it time and time again, especially with the evolving situation in Victoria, so travellers will need to check the latest restrictions before travelling.
"We know there are a number of people living close to the Queensland border who either work or access important services regularly in Queensland or in northern New South Wales.
"We want to ensure they can continue to do that without making a declaration each time they cross the border, so we've established a border zone to cater for those situations."
The news comes as Queensland health authorities opt to maintain their hotspot declaration for Greater Melbourne for an extra week, while recent cases in Sydney have led Queensland's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to call on residents to reconsider any planned travel to the NSW capital.
In line with other jurisdictions, we will maintain restrictions on travel from Greater Melbourne for another seven days, and we strongly advise those planning travel to Greater Sydney to reconsider.Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) June 16, 2021
Updated at 12:40pm AEST on 17 June 2021.
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