Queensland declares Moree Plains LGA a restricted zone
Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk late Thursday announced that from 12.01am, Friday November 5, Moree Plains Shire LGA will be declared a restricted border zone area, following a COVID-19 outbreak in Moree.
Moree Plains LGA will no longer have access across the Queensland border as part of the border bubble, except in exceptional circumstances. This includes essential healthcare and essential work.
With a new Queensland Border Restrictions Directive still to be released, Goondiwindi Regional Council expects the changes will mean very limited permitted purposes for crossing the border.
Once it is updated, the likely best site to visit for X Pass details will be the Queensland Health website.
Select ‘Border Zone Restricted’ for more information – Travelling to Queensland | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au).
This directive follows an outbreak that has so far spread to 39 cases in the Moree LGA as at 11am, Thursday, November 4.
This is in addition to three cases reported in Goondiwindi the same day.
“Our tight-knit border community and businesses continue to bear the brunt of keeping Queensland safe. We’ve done our bit and it is now time for everyone else to lift their vaccination rates,” Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Lawrence Springborg said.
“We understand the Premier has committed to keeping the virus out of Queensland until December 17 and with slow vaccination levels in some areas, this means some communities aren’t ready, hence the Premier has introduced these changes.
“I genuinely hope this will be the incentive needed for increased vaccination rates in areas that are lagging both in Queensland and our cross-border communities. In the cases known to us in this outbreak, in Goondiwindi and just across the border, the virus at this stage is generally among unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated people. This reinforces the importance of vaccination – protecting ourselves, our family and our community.
“The Premier reinforced the Goondiwindi regions success today in regards to our high vaccination rate by saying that it averted the need to lockdown our community. We will have to wait and see if there are other restrictions bought into our community in the coming days.
“Goondiwindi residents at large were today staying at home, social distancing and wearing masks when out in public. I urge all border residents to continue to be cautious, but positive that our highly vaccinated Goondiwindi region community has the best possible protection.”
Premier Palaszczuk confirmed there will be an accompanying change to border directions, meaning unvaccinated people in the border zone will not be permitted to enter Queensland to places and services that are available only to vaccinated people in NSW.
“While this change is a welcome step, it would be simpler and more consistent for the new directive to align to the existing requirements for workers, which requires every border zone worker to be vaccinated prior to travelling across the border.
“Earlier this week, pre-emptively I had discussions with the Director-General of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Deputy Commissioner of Queensland Police Services and sought assurances that if there were to be any changes to border access, that our harvest operations should be allowed to continue with minimum disruption to workforce and logistics. As late as Thursday evening I was assured this would be catered for. We await the details of the practical effectiveness of this.
It is essential, that anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested immediately: www.qld.gov.au/covid19testing
Council is also reminding all people (Queensland and New South Wales residents) with a valid border pass to enter the Goondiwindi Region from the New South Wales border zone that they must abide by face-mask restrictions until 14 days have passed since they were in the border zone.
Best practice also recommends everyone practise physical distancing as much as possible, wash hands regularly with soap and water, use alcohol-based sanitiser, avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes and, wherever possible, keep social-distancing at least 1.5 metres apart.
Please see the Queensland Health website directly for the latest advice. People can also keep up-to-date on the Darling Downs Health Facebook page: www.facebook.com/darlingdownshealth
For information about where to get the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: www.vaccinebookings.health.qld.gov.au
Media Release: Thursday, November 4, 2021