You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Queensland border checkpoints torn down after two years

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 2 days ago 9News Staff

Checkpoints on the Queensland border have been torn down overnight allowing free interstate travel for the first time in almost two years.

The state had some of Australia's strictest border restrictions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But as of midnight (1am AEDT), the Sunshine State is re-opened to domestic travel without any restrictions for all states and territories.

READ MORE: Queensland records 23,630 COVID-19 cases and three deaths

The border checkpoints blocking Queensland from the rest of Australia have been torn down. © 9News The border checkpoints blocking Queensland from the rest of Australia have been torn down. Crews worked from 1am this morning to dismantle the checkpoints. © 9News Crews worked from 1am this morning to dismantle the checkpoints.

Anyone coming into Queensland, either by road or by air domestically, no longer needs to show a border pass or a rapid antigen test.

However, the government will maintain a mandate requiring people to be fully vaccinated to be able to enter events and venues.

Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman was at the checkpoint as it was torn down overnight and said this is "an incredible outcome".

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic to return to detention as he faces weekend visa battle

Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman dubbed the removal of the checkpoints an historic moment. © 9News Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman dubbed the removal of the checkpoints an historic moment.

"This is a fantastic outcome for us, obviously after 22 months of our staff operating these border checkpoints," he said,

"Tonight is actually a very historic moment for us, to start unfolding and unpacking everything."


Video: Driver hits three pedestrians in Doubleview (9News.com.au)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Roads will now be fully open for travellers to enter the state, without any checkpoints remaining.

While domestic rules change, international travel restrictions will remain in place until Queensland hits a 90 per cent double-dose vaccination rate.

Currently the state is sitting on 88.5 per cent double jabbed, while 91.5 per cent has had a first dose of the vaccine.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned Friday the situation could still change in the weeks or months ahead for Queenslanders when she was asked what will happen to the Toowoomba Wellcamp quarantine facility once the state reaches 90 per cent fully vaccinated.

"Don't forget we still have people who fly in who are not vaccinated, we don't know what variant is around the corner," Ms Palaszczuk said.

READ MORE: World reacts to Novak Djokovic's visa being cancelled again: 'Toxic shame'

Now anyone coming into Queensland, either by road or by air domestically, will no longer need to show a border pass or a rapid antigen test © 9News Now anyone coming into Queensland, either by road or by air domestically, will no longer need to show a border pass or a rapid antigen test

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the border changes will shift the state's focus "to where people are going" and not where they are coming from.

While Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said the border restrictions had "done their job".

He said their purpose had been to ensure every Queenslander had time to get vaccinated. "It's time for them to come down," he said.

News that Queensland would finally drop its domestic border restrictions after almost two years was made by Ms Palaszczuk on Thursday.

READ MORE: Downing Street apologises to Queen for party on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

News that Queensland would finally drop its domestic border restrictions after almost two years was made by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday © Nine News that Queensland would finally drop its domestic border restrictions after almost two years was made by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday

It came much to the delight of residents and their families interstate but also to the Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll.

Ms Carroll said she was "ecstatic" to have her officers freed up from border control duties, and praised their diligence during the course of the lockout.

Queensland recorded 23,630 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths in the 24 hours to Friday morning.

Earlier in the week, the state recorded its highest daily death tally of pandemic, with six people dying in the 24 hours to Thursday morning.

More From 9News.com.au

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon