Queenslanders returning home and visitors from across Australia will be forced to get tested for COVID-19 if they become sick within two weeks of their arrival.
Victorians will also be turned away at the border rather than being given the option to go into quarantine at their own expense as new cases of the disease surge in the southern state.
The same rule applies for anyone who has been in Victoria in the two weeks prior to coming to Queensland.
“If they’re a person who has been in Victoria in the last 14 days they will be turned around,” Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said on Thursday.
An outbreak of community transmission in Victoria has pushed the Queensland government to harden its stance on visitors from the southern state.
The three-day window between NSW closing its border to Victoria and Queensland allowing interstate visitors has raised the risk of disease spread, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
“There is a risk that people from NSW were in contact with people from Victoria before the border closed,” he said.
“They may enter Queensland during their incubation period before they can be tested.
“That’s why we are announcing these strict new measures because we can’t afford to import that risk from other states.”
Interstate travellers who develop COVID-19 symptoms while in Queensland will be forced to get tested or face a $4004 fine.
More than 1000 people have been refused entry in recent days, but a whopping 238,000 people are expected to visit the Sunshine State in the next week.
Queenslanders coming home from Victoria will be required to go into hotel quarantine at their own expense for 14 days.
Individuals who have travelled to Victoria to assist in its response to the outbreak are allowed, along with people returning to say goodbye to dying relatives, in circumstances where hospitals and palliative care services can supervise their visits.
However, they must also go into quarantine.
Freight drivers are exempt from the new rules.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young expects there will be cases of COVID-19 in Queensland in coming weeks.
No new cases of the disease have been recorded overnight.
The state’s borders have been closed since mid-March to stop the spread of coronavirus, but will reopen to all other states and territories as part of the stage three easing of restrictions from noon on Friday.
Anyone wanting to enter Queensland will need to have completed a border declaration and have ID available, either when they arrive at an airport or at a road crossing.
A Sydney man found out how serious Queensland is about border crossings after he was fined $4003 for carrying a fake ID and lying about needing to enter for essential medical treatment.
The 43-year-old was travelling from New South Wales on a bus that was stopped by police at the Griffith Street border checkpoint on Wednesday morning.
Queensland has just two active cases remaining in the state, including an 81-year-old man who has been battling the illness for four months.