Qld halts arrivals from NSW, Vic and ACT

Annastacia Palaszczuk says Qld's system is under pressure from visitors and Afghanistan evacuees.
Annastacia Palaszczuk says Qld's system is under pressure from visitors and Afghanistan evacuees.

Queensland has paused its hotel quarantine program for domestic travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT for two weeks amid capacity pressures as it avoids another outbreak of COVID-19.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says with 5114 people in hotel quarantine, including 3257 domestic arrivals, the system's 22 hotels are under too much strain.

"So we simply just do not have any room at the moment, we are reassessing, we are looking at other options, but Queensland is being loved to death," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

Anyone from NSW, Victoria or the ACT with a border exemption pass, except extraordinary exemptions, will need to reapply to enter.

A new system is being set up to allocate specific hotel quarantine rooms for travellers from September 8.

Ms Palaszczuk said the federal government's evacuation of personnel from Afghanistan, which she supports, was also putting pressure on capacity.

She said Queensland isn't considering following South Australia with a trial of home quarantine to reduce pressure.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was not as simple as involving more hotels either.

"They need to be vaccinated, they need to be trained in using PPE, they need to be trained in infection control, and we've just reached that capacity," she said.

"That's why we just need a pause to recalibrate."

Meanwhile, Dr Young said two truck drivers recorded as COVID-19 cases on Tuesday are false positives.

The pair initially tested positive in NSW with authorities there alerting Queensland Health about the results after they had crossed the border.

However, the truckies returned two negatives tests each in Queensland.

"I would like to thank those two individuals and all of our other truck drivers who work and cross the borders every single day," Dr Young said.

"These two individuals have done everything correctly, so I think even if they had have been cases, it would have been very low risk."

While Queensland may have avoided an outbreak, the government still sees a risk from the Delta variant outbreak in NSW.

At present only certain essential workers who have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are allowed to drive into Queensland.

About 120 Australian Defence Force troops have arrived to backup border police at checkpoints.

Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman says four checkpoints will have two ADF personnel operating on a 24 hour basis, monitoring all avenues of access to Queensland along the border.

He added that the pausing of hotel quarantine for two weeks has seen a drastic reduction in vehicles crossing the checkpoints.

"We're sort of averaging 2000-2500 vehicles a day now crossing the checkpoints, which is a drastic reduction," he said.

The beefed up border presence comes as a man who rode a white horse as part of a protest against the closure on Sunday faces more than $7000 in fines.

The 52-year-old from Murwillumbah handed himself in at the Tweed Heads Police Station where he was issued a $3000 infringement notice for "unlawfully participating in an outdoor gathering in a stay at home area".

Separately, Queensland Police fined him $4135 for failing to comply with a direction from the Chief Health Officer.

Queensland recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Australian Associated Press