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Border exemption for operators transporting perishables and livestock

After lobbying by industry, Queensland Health yesterday issued a temporary testing concession for operators transporting perishable goods or livestock across the Queensland border.

The new class exemption – valid until August 9 – means that a freight or logistics operator entering Queensland is exempt from the requirement to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test received within the seven days prior to entering the state, subject to meeting the below conditions.

  • Operator is delivering perishable goods or livestock.
  • Operator must not have left the confines of their vehicle in an Affected Area (as defined in the QLD Freight Protocol) in the 14 days before entering QLD.
  • Operator must carry a copy of this class exemption (electronic or hard copy) at all times.
  • Operator must leave QLD as soon as they have delivered the perishable goods or livestock.
  • Operator who is unable to safely leave QLD (eg due to fatigue requirements) must get a test as soon as reasonably possible after completing the delivery.
  • Operator must strictly comply with all other requirements of the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 31) or successors, the QLD Freight Protocol and all relevant Public Health Directions, once in QLD.

Freight or logistics operators who meet the requirements of the Class Exemption are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Queensland Border Declaration Pass or Queensland Travel Declaration.

But the Department of Transport and Main Roads said you must carry an electronic or hard copy of the Class Exemption, as you will be required to show it at Queensland border entry points.

Click here to read and download the class exemption.

The Queensland Trucking Association welcomed the news in a bulletin to its members over the weekend and elaborated on the update with a few key points below.

What does this mean for carriers of perishables and livestock?

DRIVERS THAT MEET THE CONDITIONS OF THE EXEMPTION WILL ONLY NEED EVIDENCE OF A TEST FROM PAST 7 DAYS
A freight or logistics operator entering Queensland who meet the conditions of the Class exemption MUST PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF HAVING A TEST IN PAST 7 DAYS BUT is exempt from the requirement of the QLD Freight Protocol to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result received within the 7 days prior to entering Queensland.

What is included as perishable goods?

Those likely to spoil, decay or become unsafe to use if not kept refrigerated. Examples of goods that must be kept refrigerated for safety include medicines, vaccinations, medical supplies, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and all cooked or prepared food.

“This class exemption for perishable goods and livestock carriers will provide some temporary relief for drivers with loads who are being delayed due to the time it’s taking to receive negative results and arriving at the border without a result,” added QTA CEO Gary Mahon.

“This exemption will provide an adequate window for you to get your drivers seven-day testing result cycle in motion.

“Due to the increased demand on testing and timeframes for receiving results, please advise drivers, sub-contractors and agency drivers not to leave it until the seventh day to undergo another test.  This will give drivers the best chance to always have a current negative result within the past seven days.

“We will continue to lobby for more testing sites and more practical implementation of border entry requirements.  Until then, drivers will have no option but to continue to be tested in accordance with the current directive.”

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