Lingering fears that all interstate truckies will need at least one jab to cross the Queensland border from this Saturday can now be put to rest.
Queensland Health issued an updated direction earlier today, confirming earlier reports that all freight and logistics operators can continue to enter the state unvaccinated (for now) under the current rules of the Queensland Freight Protocol.
The Queensland Trucking Association has, however, flagged a couple of important changes for those living or working in the border zones that apply from 1am on August 21.
In a bulletin to its members the QTA highlights the below:
- Freight and logistics operators who are ONLY delivering into the NSW Border Zone (and have not been to a declared hotspot or affected area in the past 14 days) will have the following OPTIONS:
- using the F Pass with mandatory testing requirements and operating under the Qld Freight Protocol OR
- using the Border Zone Entry Pass AND have one dose of the Covid vaccine by 1.00am SATURDAY 21 AUGUST
- Any freight and logisitcs operator (Qld Resident or NSW Border Zone Resident) who has to drive their personal vehicle across the border to perform an essential service (eg to the depot to start work) in either Qld or the NSW Border Zone MUST have the Border Zone Entry Pass to travel back and forth over the Qld Border AND MUST have had one dose of the COVID vaccine by 1.00am SATURDAY 21 AUGUST.
- In addition, if these drivers are delivering freight outside the NSW border zone (that is, to a declared hotspot or affected area), they will ALSO need a valid F Pass and comply with the mandatory testing requirements to gain entry into Queensland
Updated Qld-declared NSW affected areas
Below are also the only areas that trigger the three-day testing rule, in addition to the evidence of a negative result from a test in the past seven days.
All other areas of NSW not listed here only require evidence of a negative result from a test in the past seven days, reminds the QTA.
“To allow time for drivers entering Queensland to comply with the testing requirements for these four NEW LGAs, they have until 1am, Saturday, August 28 to comply.
Testing requirements for the exisiting eight LGAs must remain and must be complied with immediately.”
This includes any suburb in these Local Government Areas.
1. Bayside – NEW
3. Burwood – NEW
5. Canterbury Bankstown
8. Georges River
11. Penrith – NEW – only the following suburbs – Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.
12. Strathfield – NEW
The Transport Workers Union has welcomed the exemption for truck drivers to pass through the Queensland border when it introduces new vaccination passport restrictions, but the union says this proves the need for national leadership and vaccination priority for critical transport workers.
TWU assistant national secretary Nick McIntosh said national leadership is required to prevent future chaos for transport workers just trying to do their job.
“Communities right across Australia depend on truck drivers for their survival. It is a welcome relief that truck drivers will not be cut off from their important work transporting essential supplies into Queensland from other states,” said McIntosh.
“However, this relief is temporary. With ongoing border changes, the transport industry is crying out for national leadership to provide certainty to operators and drivers to just get on with their jobs.
“The critical nature of transport is highlighted through this exemption, but this is at odds with the Federal Government’s failure to acknowledge that these workers are essential and must be prioritised for vaccination.”