Qld, Tasmania shuts borders to non-essential journey

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Queensland will shut its borders to everyone who is isn’t entering the state for work, medical appointments or to deliver freight.

All other visitors will be turned away from midnight tonight as the state ramps up its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It follows a similar move by Tasmania earlier today.

RELATED: The number of COVID-19 cases in Australia

Border travel will be policed in an RBT-style with officers stationed to determine who needs to cross and allowing them through quickly, AAP reported.

Officials are working with airlines to ensure passengers will know what will happen when they arrive in Queensland before they board flights. Travelling from Tweed to Coolangatta for work is allowed.

Queenslanders returning to the state will have to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Earlier, Tasmania increased its fight against a growing number of coronavirus cases by shutting down the trans-Tasman ferry line to everyone except “essential travellers” and Tasmanian residents.

The move is one of the hardest enforced in Australia, meaning any visitor (excluding essential travellers or residents) will not be allowed to enter the state.

Tasmania’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 28, with the state introducing tighter social distancing measures.

Premier Peter Gutwein announced on Tuesday that the new “hard-line” position would enable authorities to turn people away if they arrived on the TT-Line without a good reason to enter the state.

The state had previously said any non-essential entrants would be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“In terms of TT-Line, as of today there is a hard-line position in place that unless you’re an essential traveller, or a Tasmanian returning home on the TT-Line, you will not be travelling with us,” Mr Gutwein told reporters.

“The self-isolation rules have been applied and largely are being adhered to, but I want to be absolutely certain and so, as from today, if you are travelling to Tasmania and it’s non-essential travel, do not come. Do not get on the TT-Line. What we will do is turn you around and ask you to go back.”

The new stance is Australia’s strictest internal border control so far.

Tasmanian officials also gave an update on the state’s latest coronavirus numbers released last night.

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates

There were a further six cases detected – bringing the state’s total to 28 – five of them from cruise ships and one recently returned from overseas.

Four came from the Ruby Princess that arrived in Sydney on March 19, and one was from the Celebrity Solstice that arrived in Sydney on March 20.

In total, 11 of Tasmania’s 28 cases came from cruise ships – nine from the Ruby Princess, one from the Celebrity Solstice and one from the Ovation of the Seas.

Anyone who was on any of those three ships, or the Voyager of the Seas, are being ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

In a further effort to help fight the coronavirus, the University of Tasmania has put its accommodation in the hands of the Government.

“The Tasmanian Government has requested that we make our inner-city Fountainside apartments available for the COVID-19 response,” University of Tasmania vice-chancellor Professor Rufus Black said.

“We are incredibly grateful for the understanding of our students, who will move to other inner-city university apartments, freeing up 50 ensuite rooms.”

The facilities will be ready for the Government from today.

On Sunday, The Tasmanian health department announced that five new cases were confirmed. All of them returned to the state from overseas.

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