Families with shared parenting arrangements will need to provide ‘evidence’ of official court orders or agreements to permit them entry to Queensland under tough new border restrictions designed to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Queensland Government today released its Border Restrictions Direction (No.11), which also requires people compelled to appear in Queensland courts to provide evidence of a court order, and confirmation from the court that they are to attend in person, before being allowed entry.
The measures – which take effect from 1am Saturday – follow the Queensland Government’s decision to close the state’s borders to all New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory residents.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday declared the border entry was to be denied to all visitors from NSW and the ACT, except for rare exemptions, and that returning Queenslanders would have to pay for their own 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine stays.
It followed a declaration by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, that all of NSW and the ACT had been identified as a COVID-19 hotspot, joining Victoria on the list of locations whose residents are denied entry to Queensland.
Ms Palaszczuk said the “hard border closure” put Queenslanders first.
“I said that when the moment came, I would not hesitate. That moment has arrived,” she said. “Victoria hasn’t improved as we hoped and I won’t wait for New South Wales to get any worse.
“I will not risk our state’s economic recovery by allowing COVID to spread. I will do everything I can to protect Queenslanders and the economy.”
The direction issued by Queensland Health and released today includes a requirement of anyone from a declared COVID-19 ‘hotspot’ to provide court-issued documentation to cross the state’s border.
“Generally people who have been in declared COVID-19 hotspots cannot enter Queensland, but there are certain exemptions relevant to the legal profession and their clients,” the direction says.
Those exemptions include:
- if the person is a Queensland resident
- if the person is moving to Queensland as a new resident
- if the person is a border zone resident who is a Queensland resident
- to comply with an order to attend a court or tribunal or to give effect to orders of a court or tribunal, and they must provide evidence of a court order and confirmation from the court that they are to attend in person
- to fulfil a legal obligation relating to shared parenting or child contact, including as part of an order or arrangement under the Child Protection Act 1999, and they must provide evidence of a court order or a legal agreement, or
- to assist with or participate in a state or Commonwealth law enforcement investigation or other action at the request or direction of a state or Commonwealth department or law enforcement agency.
QLS will continue to monitor the situation and update members of the profession in the event of any changes.