Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

No new cases as hundreds turned back from border

THERE have been no new cases of coronavirus in the Sunshine State overnight as the Premier encouraged Queenslanders to keep up the social distancing.

Annastacia Palaszczuk is visiting Gladstone, where she is spruiking an update to the local health facilities.

Queensland is continuing to gear up for the reopening of its borders at noon on Friday, as Victoria gets set to go back into lockdown for at least six weeks amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Hundreds of people have been turned back trying to pass through the Queensland border blockade in recent days, including Queenslanders coming back from Victoria.

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski revealed this morning that "779 people have been turned away at the Queensland borders since last Friday".

He also warned of significant congestion at the border and said more than 209,000 people have filled out new border pass paperwork necessary to cross checkpoints.


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has long been under fire over her stance on the border, has once again defended the security measures being put in place to keep Queenslanders safe as travellers face up to the prospect of long delays as checks are put in place to reduce the chances of cases being transmitted.

She warned there would be delays at the border from Friday because Queensland wanted to "get it right".

She again urged people from Victoria to stay away from Queensland. She said there would have been very few people from Victoria come into Queensland ahead of the firm border closure on Friday.

"This is a national issue, so we all need to be in this together," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk confirmed 27 Queensland nurses remained in Victoria to assist with the effort to fight the virus, but said the state would be happy to send more resources if needed.

Queensland recorded just one new case on Tuesday - the first in 11 days - to take the state's total to 1068, with just two active cases remaining.

The surge in cases in Victoria prompted NSW to close its border with the state, creating chaos in the border region around Albury-Wodonga, as efforts to minimise the spread cause renewed disruption.

The Northern Territory on Wednesday joined the list of states locking Victoria out.

Traffic is gridlocked at the NSW-Victoria border as commuters attempt to cross through checkpoints manned by police and the ADF.

Queues have stretched back several kilometres in some parts, with reports of motorists waiting up to an hour in traffic for trips that usually take 10 minutes.

Most are frustrated locals attempting to get to work, with the majority of traffic flowing from Victoria into NSW.

There are 55 border crossings between NSW and Victoria, prompting health minister Brad Hazzard to describe patrols as a "mammoth task."

NSW Police on Wednesday warned those wishing to cross into NSW should expect delays after the Service NSW website crashed on its launch on Tuesday night.

There is also expected to be frustration at the Queensland border with NSW and, while she encouraged Australians to visit the Sunshine State, the Premier also urged them to plan ahead.

"There will be long delays," she said. "Maybe you can choose to come another day or don't go during the peak times."

Meanwhile, in Victoria, the countdown in on as the state gears up for a lockdown that is set to blow a $6 billion hole in the economy.

More than 5.2 million Victorians will be forced back into harsh lockdown conditions for at least six weeks as the state battles to get the ongoing outbreak under control.

Victoria recorded 191 new cases - its worst single-day total - on Tuesday, which followed 127 cases on Monday and 182 over the weekend, prompting the severe restrictions to be put in place as other states close their borders in a bid to keep the outbreak localised.

Queensland's border will reopen to the rest of Australia, with the exception of Victoria, on Friday, amid more political wrangling as a former LNP minister accused her own party of "just disagree on anything the ALP does".

Ex-MP Jann Stuckey unleashed in a serious of Facebook posts accusing her old colleagues of hypocrisy and "cheap point scoring" for opposing the border closures.

The LNP both at a state and Federal level were pushing for borders to open from July 1, while the State Government had left question marks over its previously forecast July 10 opening date.