From 12pm Friday 3 July 2020 all parts of Victoria are considered COVID-19 hotspots.
From 1am Saturday 8 August 2020 all parts of New South Wales are considered COVID-19 hotspots.
Some areas of New South Wales, close to the Queensland border, are part of a border zone. New South Wales border zone residents can cross the border for any purpose and can travel anywhere in Queensland and stay for as many nights as they like. Read more about the border zone.
Farmers and agribusiness workers crossing the Qld / NSW border
The class exemption that commenced on 22 August 2020 for farmers and agribusiness workers needing to move between Queensland and New South Wales to perform essential farming activities, such as tending crops, has been extended until 11.59 pm on 31 December 2020.
The class exemption does not apply to workers involved in picking, packing and sorting or workers from Victoria. These workers can apply to Queensland Health to enter as an essential or specialist worker.
To be eligible for exemption the individual must be a:
- Queensland resident who needs to re-enter Queensland after travelling to New South Wales to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities
- New South Wales resident who needs to enter Queensland to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities
To enter Queensland under the class exemption employees will need:
- A copy of the Chief Health Officer’s class exemption letter dated 13 October 2020
- Evidence of their identity, confirming their place of residence
- Evidence they are a horticulture essential worker (e.g. letter of employment, business contract, evidence of property ownership or lease).
Workers will need to complete a written Queensland border declaration pass upon arrival at the Queensland border. They will not be able to complete an electronic Queensland border declaration pass.
If your employees do not meet the above criteria and they need to enter Queensland to provide services critical to your farm they may be eligible to apply for a specialist worker exemption.
Specialist worker exemption
Agribusiness, commercial fishing and food manufacturing are considered essential activities in Queensland. A specialist worker can only enter Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot if they are providing a service critical to Queensland (for example, critical agricultural operations necessary to maintain food supply). Exemptions will be considered on a case by case basis and will be very limited.
A business or company seeking an exemption to bring specialist workers into Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot must provide evidence that:
- the services can’t be obtained in Queensland
- the services must be provided without delay (or in a specified time critical period
- the person needs to be physically present in Queensland to complete the duty
- the company or service provider has a plan in place that follows the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer to manage risks associated with COVID-19 (for example a workplace health management plan).
Application process: In order to streamline the specialist and essential worker application process, all applications now go through a single Queensland Health web portal. Applications should now be made via the COVID-19 Exemption and Waiver Service.
Transporters of freight and logistics
Exemptions continue to be in place for people providing an essential activity in Queensland, such as transporters of freight and logistics to ensure the delivery of essential food and supplies. People who fall into this category do not need to apply for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer to undertake transport of freight or logistics into, from or through Queensland. However, they will need to complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass.
People working in transport and logistics must remain isolated from the general public in their vehicle or accommodation until they depart Queensland, or for 14 days, whichever period is shorter. They must also keep and retain records of close contacts while you are in Queensland for 2 weeks after you arrive in Queensland.
Border Declaration Pass
Anyone wanting to enter Queensland must apply for a Border Declaration Pass, including those people belonging to a border community or involved with transport and freight.
Once a Queensland Border Declaration Pass is approved it is valid for a 7-day period or until the individuals circumstances change, whichever is shorter. If people need to enter Queensland after this period, they will need to apply for a new Queensland Border Declaration Pass.
Providing false, misleading or incorrect information on the Queensland Border Declaration Pass may incur a fine of $4,004 or a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345.
You can provide accommodation on your farm or assist in finding accommodation in caravan parks, hostels, backpacker facilities and hotels close by. Read the requirements for providing accommodation on your farm during COVID-19.