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Queensland tightens border as virus cases squeeze through the cracks

He told reporters initial investigations suggested their border declaration passes might have contained incorrect information.

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“We want to work out what’s actually happened here, not only in terms of what any individual may have done but also how the system has operated,” Mr Gollschewski said.

According to the Queensland Police Service, 2168 public health infringement notices have been issued for COVID-related breaches since March 30.

However, 5.8 per cent of those – equating to about 125 fines – have been withdrawn upon review.

The news of the new cases came as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Wednesday that all of the greater Sydney area was considered a hotspot for the virus.

Ms Palaszczuk said the changes would not come into force until this weekend.

The NSW areas to be declared hotspots from 1am Saturday

  • Bayside
  • Blacktown City
  • Blue Mountains City
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown City
  • Canada Bay City
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Central Coast
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield City
  • Georges River
  • Hawkesbury City
  • Hornsby Shire
  • Hunter’s Hill Municipality
  • Inner West
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Lane Cove Municipality
  • Liverpool City
  • Mosman Municipality
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta City
  • Penrith City
  • Randwick City
  • Ryde City
  • Strathfield Municipality
  • Sutherland Shire
  • Sydney City
  • The Hills Shire
  • Waverley
  • Willoughby City
  • Wollondilly Shire
  • Woollahra City

“We have done this to ensure that we give notice to Queenslanders that might want to return home,” she said.

“We are in extraordinary times at the moment and we have to do everything we can.”

Queensland residents returning from greater Sydney after 1am on Saturday will have to quarantine themselves in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

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Residents from other parts of NSW are still allowed to travel to Queensland with a valid border pass, as long as they have not been in a listed hotspot area.

Ms Palaszczuk said depending on how the situation unfolded, they could put a hard border in place again with NSW.

Victorians are barred from entering Queensland at present.

“Let me assure Queenslanders that we have been preparing for these scenarios. We have done this before and we would do it again,” she said.

“When the Chief Health Officer advises the Queensland government and myself to close the border, we will close the border.”

For her part, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wasn’t consulted about the border announcement.

“That’s a matter for the Queensland Premier, but it would have been nice if she told me,” she said.

“I note that the cases they’ve announced today are all from Victoria.”

Ms Berejiklian said she believed restricting more travel from Sydney into Queensland would hurt Queensland economically.

“The only challenge for NSW is limited freedom of movement for our residents,” she said.

“The economic consequences in Queensland … will hurt much more than it hurts NSW, we are in the strongest position in the nation which we want to maintain obviously.”

With the three new cases, Queensland currently has eight active cases of the virus, with urgent contact tracing under way to detect any other people who might have come down with the disease.

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