Non-essential and holiday travel to North Stradbroke Island has been banned while it will be sometime before residents along the NSW-Queensland border obtain official access passes.
A ban on non-essential travel to North Stradbroke Island came into force at midnight on Wednesday at the same time as the Queensland border closed.
Both closures are meant to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams says the North Stradbroke Island ban means no one will be able to holiday there at Easter.
“Our city’s islands have ageing populations and vulnerable communities, including First Nations People and an ageing community, as well as limited medical facilities,” she said in a statement.
“Now is not the time to holiday to our islands.”
State Disaster Co-ordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said motorists crossing the Queensland border needed to be patient as authorities worked through the logistics of who to allow, and not allow, to pass.
He said residents would soon be able to apply online for a pass but the system was not yet available.
“Vehicle passes to cross the border … won’t be ready tonight (Wednesday),” he said
“We acknowledge this inconvenience may be quite challenging for some people, but we appeal to them to comply with our directions to help manage the impact of COVID-19 on our community.”
He admitted there may be instances where people cross the border, but the measures had been put in place to protect the community.
“The fact that someone might sneak through somewhere in the back of beyond, on some dirt track is probably not the focus for this, ” he said.
“This is really about the big numbers of people on major corridors.”
The border crossing ban includes pedestrians.
“Even people with an exemption, it is going to take time to get across the border. There will be lengthy delays. My plea is to show patience,” Mr Gollschewski said.
“The same exemptions apply whether you are walking across the road, walking across the border at Tweed Heads or coming in on a boat.”
Police officers will be stationed at passenger arrival gates at Gold Coast Airport to brief passengers on their obligations if they are required to self-isolate and determine if they meet the criteria to be exempted.
Motorists will be turned away at the border if they are not exempt or can’t adequately demonstrate they can go into isolation in Queensland for 14 days.
Those not travelling for work, medical appointments or delivering freight are barred from crossing the border.