No jab, no entry Qld tells essential staff

Queensland's border with NSW on the Gold Coast is seeing traffic delays as police tighten controls.
Queensland's border with NSW on the Gold Coast is seeing traffic delays as police tighten controls.

Queensland is about to start locking out essential workers from NSW, with new sewage tests suggesting COVID-19 remains on the state's doorstep.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a second consecutive donut day for Queensland on Monday. Just an hour later, her NSW counterpart reported a grim new milestone for her state - a record 478 new local cases and eight deaths.

Gladys Berejiklian also said COVID-19 fragments had been found in sewage at Ballina and Lennox Head, just an hour's drive from the border.

Police are already stopping and checking every vehicle that tried to enter Queensland.

From Friday, even essential staff who live in NSW but work in Queensland will be turned around unless they can show they've had had at least one dose of a vaccine.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the deadline shouldn't affect too many people because shots have been offered to the likes of health workers and emergency services staff since February.

Those yet to have a first shot will get priority access at vaccination centres.

Almost 137,000 extra Pfizer doses secured by the federal government are being sent to Logan, south of Brisbane, and Caboolture, north of Brisbane, where vaccination rates are lower than in other parts of the southeast corner.

Authorities are also sending extra doses to Queensland's border towns.

Ms Palaszczuk refused on Monday to tell reporters how she would deal with COVID-19 once Queensland reached Australia's target of vaccinating 80 per cent of its over-16 population.

She repeatedly declined to answer when asked if she would pursue a containment approach, or let the virus run once that target was met.

"I can't predict the future," she said. "We're going to be nowhere near 80 per cent until November/December. This is a long way off unless we have the supply."

Mark McGowan has said he'll be aiming to keep the virus out of Western Australia and that lockdowns will remain a threat even at 80 per cent.

Ms Berejiklian has told NSW residents they'll have to live with restrictions as long as the Delta variant is around, saying: "We can't pretend we will get to zero and stay at zero forever."

"Will life be different when you have 80 per cent of your community vaccinated? It will be different," she said on Monday.

"But the extent to which it will be different depends on the case numbers. If you have 500 cases a day at 80 per cent, that is dangerous still to say let it rip. You can't let it rip."

There were significant delays at the border on Monday, with wait times of up to an hour at checkpoints on the Gold Coast where almost 500 cars were turned around in 24 hours.

Police hope the situation will gradually improve as people get used to the new restrictions which limit arrivals to essential workers, and people seeking essential goods and services that can't be sourced elsewhere.

Queensland currently has 129 active cases and 3325 people remain in home quarantine.

There were 9209 tests in the past 24 hours, and 6724 vaccines delivered by Queensland Health.

Australian Associated Press