Residents returning before 1am on Tuesday will be able to undertake a test and quarantine in their home, if deemed suitable. Anyone else who has been in the new hotspot since December 11 will not be able to enter the state without an exemption and a hotel quarantine stay.
All travellers from NSW will also need to have a border declaration pass to enter. Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said roadblocks would be reinstated along the southern border within the next 24-48 hours.
“They will probably find a checkpoint by the time they get here,” he said of anyone thinking of trying to drive from Sydney to beat the Monday morning deadline.
With four new close contacts of the Sydney northern beaches cluster identified in Queensland on Sunday, taking the total to 15, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there needed to be a “reset” of focus on community and business efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
She said there would be a blitz on businesses around social distancing, hygiene and check-in measures after contact tracers hit hurdles trying to reach those who had visited the Glen Hotel in Eight Mile Plains.
Venues will have 72 hours to move to electronic systems for tracking patrons or face a return of tougher density restrictions.
“Paper registering is not sufficient, it takes too long and people are not giving correct details or their writing is not legible,” she said.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the moves were important based on the “continued escalation” of cases in Sydney and relaxed restrictions across Queensland. Two new cases were recorded in hotel quarantine on Sunday.
“It’s now the 20th [of December] and we still haven’t got hold of all the people who were at the Glen Hotel on the 16th, and that is a real risk,” she said.
She added she was “very concerned” about the detection of COVID-19 in wastewater samples in northern Cairns, Cleveland and the Gold Coast, urging people to ensure they kept up good hygiene, social distancing and mask-wearing if they could not keep 1.5 metres away from others.
“I know it’s tiring — we’ve done this all before, we don’t want to do it again — but we need to,” she said.
Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said one of two recent breaches of home quarantine was by an international airline flight crew member, with a new requirement to stay in police-supervised hotel quarantine in effect from Tuesday.
Ms Palaszczuk flagged the need for a meeting of the national cabinet should the situation in NSW deteriorate further, after 30 new locally acquired cases were recorded there on Sunday.
“I really think that it’s going to be that critical situation that we need to convene as a national cabinet to talk about these issues because it is of national significance,” she said.
Matt Dennien is a reporter with Brisbane Times.