COVID-19 Update: QLD Border Restrictions

**Updated 27 October 2020**

Queensland’s border restrictions continue to evolve in response to confirmed COVID-19 cases within Australia. Food businesses are advised to remain informed on declared hotspots within Australia and current border restrictions to minimise the risk to their business. The latest border restrictions are outlined below:

Who is still allowed to enter Queensland?

Those living outside of Queensland who provide critical services to Queensland, including:
  • National/state security
  • Essential health services
  • Emergency services
  • Transport of goods or freight by land, sea or air, including food (see below)
  • NSW farmers and agribusiness workers (see below)
  • Critical maintenance/repair to critical infrastructure in Queensland
  • Construction, mining/energy/agribusinesses
  • Federal, state or local government workers or contractors who are required to enter to Queensland to work.

Visitors who have not been in a declared hotspot can also enter Queensland (see further below).

Queensland Freight Protocol (effective from 23 September 2020)

As of 23 September, 2020, heavy vehicle drivers, non-heavy vehicle commercial freight operatorslogistics and support workers, and any other persons essential to the delivery of freight in the course of a commercial freight movement, will be required to obtain a Queensland Border Declaration Pass (Freight and Logistics). This pass is valid for 7 days (extended to 14 days as of 30 Oct) from the day of issue or unless a freight and logistics operators’ circumstances change, whichever is shorter. Freight and logistics operators will not be allowed to enter Queensland without a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass (Freight and Logistics).

Further information is available via Queensland Health.

Food Transporter Register
To further assist our accredited businesses, Safe Food has developed a new Food Transporter Register. In the event that your food transport vehicle is stopped at the border by Queensland Police, you should display your current Safe Food accreditation sticker, Safe Food accreditation certificate, or refer them to our Food Transporter Register. They will be able to search your vehicle’s registration on this register and verify your accreditation with Safe Food.

Exemptions for farmers & agribusiness workers (available until 31 December 2020)

Exemptions to border restrictions now include Queensland and New South Wales farmers and agribusiness workers who need to:

  • perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain
  • conduct farming activities
  • provide timely veterinary services
  • provide care for livestock.

The class exemption does not apply to seasonal workers. 

To enter Queensland under this class exemption, you will need provide:

  1. A copy of the Chief Health Officer’s class exemption letter dated 13 October 2020
  2. Evidence of your identity, confirming your place of residence
  3. Evidence you are an agribusiness essential worker (e.g. letter of employment, business contract, evidence of property ownership or lease, evidence of agistment arrangements).

You will need to complete a written Queensland border declaration pass upon arrival at the Queensland border. You will not be able to complete an electronic Queensland border declaration pass.

More details can be found at the Business Queensland website.

Employees travelling for work

Safe Food are aware that some accredited businesses may have logistical contracts that require commuting or movement between State borders to deliver essential food and supplies. This is considered essential travel. Employees that need to travel to Queensland must obtain an entry pass. Note: an entry pass is valid for 7 days (extended to 14 days as of 30 Oct). Your business must also provide a Health Plan that complies with requirements set by the Chief Health Officer that ensures adequate hygiene and safety requirements to limit the transmission of COVID-19. A Health Plan template is available to download.

People providing an essential activity are not required to quarantine, but will need to keep and retain records of close contacts whilst they are in Queensland for two weeks after they arrive in Queensland.

Visitors to Queensland (updated October 2020)

Enhanced border control measures, including border passes and identification screening have been implemented by the Queensland Government.

  • Visitors from NSW (excluding border residents) or Victoria cannot visit or quarantine in Queensland. They will be turned around.
  • Visitors from WA, SA, Tasmania, ACT and the Northern Territory may enter Queensland, subject to completing and signing a border declaration.

Mandatory hotel quarantine (at their own expense) for a minimum of 14 days applies to:

  • Any Queenslanders returning home that have been in a declared hotspot within the last 14 days
  • Any person returning from travel overseas
  • A person who arrives in Queensland from overseas, whether Queensland is the person’s final destination, or not.

Border residents

A border zone resident is someone who lives in a community on the Queensland New South Wales border. See the map here (PDF). This includes both sides of the border – people who live in Queensland but work in their neighbouring border town, or people who live in New South Wales but come to work in their neighbouring border town in Queensland.

Currently, Border zone residents can cross the border for any purpose. However, Queensland border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in New South Wales. More information is available here 

From 1 October 2020:

  • the New South Wales border zone includes postcodes that fall fully or partially within the 11 New South Wales Local Government Areas (LGAs) along the Queensland/NSW border, plus all the postcodes that are fully or partially within with 5 New South Wales LGAs of Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, City of Lismore, Glenn Innes Severn and Richmond Valley. From 30 October, this will be extended to also include postcodes 4375, 4377 and 4380.
  • Queensland residents can travel anywhere in the New South Wales border zone for any purpose.
  • New South Wales border zone residents can travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose.

Quarantine measures

All persons entering Queensland must complete and sign a border declaration stating they have not been to a declared hotspot in the past 14 days.

  • All flights will be checked, and road vehicle borders will be enforced
  • Police will enforce quarantine
  • A person who refuses testing in quarantine will be subject to a further 10-day period at their own cost.

For further information about border restrictions, please refer to the Queensland Government website.