Queensland records 19,709 new Covid cases and six deaths – as state finally knocks down border controls and welcomes Australian travelers for a carefree holiday
- Queensland to dismantle border checkpoints as state registered 19,709 cases
- Domestic travelers no longer need to show proof of negative covid test
- The rule went into effect on Saturday from 1 a.m., opening the state to more tourists
- Police are grateful for the return of staff who have been busy patrolling the borders
Border checkpoints in Queensland are being dismantled, with domestic travelers no longer required to show evidence of a negative covid test as the state recorded a further 19,709 virus cases and six deaths.
Since 1am on Saturday, interstate visitors have been welcomed to Queensland, no matter where they come from, without the need for a border pass or negative test.
With domestic border controls lifted, the Queensland Police Department is removing the border checkpoints, drawing the curtain on an epic operation.
Queensland has recorded another 19,709 virus cases and six deaths as state opens up to unregulated interstate travelers
Interstate travelers no longer need to show proof of a negative covid test or fill out a border pass from 1 a.m. Saturday
Acting Superintendent of the Gold Coast District, Rhys Wildman, said the barricades that played a pivotal role in preventing Covid outbreaks as immunization rates rose in Queensland would be completely gone by 5 a.m. Sunday – and he doesn’t expect them to. return.
“The vaccination coverage here is high enough and the hospital rates are so low compared to case numbers, so we’re getting our results,” said Mr. Wildman.
“The whole purpose of the borders was to give our community time to get used to and ready for this situation, so the advice we’ve been given is that we won’t come back (at border checkpoints).”
Mr Wildman said the checkpoint closure would give a healthy shot of the Queensland Police Frontline, with nearly 100 staff returning to Gold Coast operations alone.
Chief Inspector Rhys Wildman, acting Superintendent of the Gold Coast District, said the barricades marking the borders will be completely dismantled by 5 a.m. Sunday.
Mr Wildman said the checkpoint closure would give a healthy injection to the police’s frontline, with nearly 100 personnel returning to Gold Coast operations alone
Queensland initially planned to ditch all border controls when it reached a 90 percent covid vaccination rate – a target expected to be reached next week.
But the shift has been made with the Omicron variant already widespread in the community and 90 percent of eligible Queenslanders getting double stung in the coming days.
The latest figures from Queensland show that 91.48 percent of those who qualify have had one shot and 88.51 percent have received two.
Since the first checkpoints were established in March 2020, 3.3 million border passes have been issued and nearly 3.7 million cars have been intercepted, turned over 35,902 times and 20,247 people have been quarantined
Six deaths and 19,709 new virus cases were announced on Saturday, with 649 people being treated in hospital for Covid, including 46 in intensive care.
Since the checkpoints were first established in March 2020 and reintroduced in May 2021, 3.3 million border passes have been issued and nearly 3.7 million cars have been intercepted, flipping 35,902 and quarantining 20,247 people.
In all, there were 818 fines and arrests, 3,571 individual investigations, 61 changes to border rules and 192,000 police hours spent managing checkpoints.