NSW Queensland border bubble reinstated
Northern border residents will be able to cross the Queensland border from 1am on Monday 13 September for essential work and essential reasons with the reinstatement of the border bubble, following discussions between the NSW and Queensland Governments.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said an agreement to include 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the border bubble was reached following discussions with Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
The 12 LGAs included in the border bubble are Ballina, Byron Bay, City of Lismore, Clarence Valley, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir, Inverell, Kyogle, Moree Plains, Richmond Valley, Tenterfield and Tweed.
As outlined by the Queensland Government today, NSW residents can cross the border for essential work, school, essential shopping, medical reasons or caring for people.
“There’s no doubt that our border communities have copped the brunt of these border closures and the reintroduction of the border bubble will provide a long overdue sense of normality for locals,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I thank Deputy Premier Miles and the work of his team as well as the NSW Office of the Cross Border Commissioner for everything they have done to reach this agreement so soon after we announced the region is coming out of lockdown.
“We’ve been able to reach this agreement because northern border residents have done such a great job abiding by the lockdown rules. I thank you all so much and I encourage everyone to keep getting vaccinated to continue to unlock new freedoms in our communities.”
Essential work means any work or volunteering that cannot be reasonably done from home and people crossing the border for essential work will need to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. NSW residents are not able to cross the border for recreation or social visits.
Cross Border Commissioner James McTavish welcomed the changes, which will allow the border community to get back to a semblance of normal life and access essential services and return to school.
“In the past week we have received correspondence from more than 1,500 people seeking advice about a wide range of topics related to the Queensland border, and the reinstatement of the border bubble is great news,” Mr McTavish said.
Residents will still require a Border Zone Travel (X Pass) to cross the border, which can be obtained from the Queensland Government website.