Fri, 18 Sep 2020

SYDNEY, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Australian State of Queensland will close its border to the neighboring State of New South Wales (NSW) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) from 1:00 a.m. local time on Saturday amid fears of a second wave of COVID-19.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Wednesday that a quick decision was needed considering the development of the pandemic in those southern states.

"We cannot risk a second wave. We have to act decisively," Palaszczuk said. "We have to put Queenslanders first."

NSW shares a border with the State of Victoria, which on Wednesday posted record-high daily infections and deaths with 725 new cases and 15 fatalities overnight.

Queensland had previously barred people who had been in Victoria from entering the state.

The decision to further limit entries to Queensland also took into account the evidence that some people who had been to COVID-19 hotspots were trying to get around border restrictions by entering Queensland, according to Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.

"We're currently investigating a male person who we will allege has deliberately driven from Sydney out of a hotspot into the ACT to get a flight to come to Brisbane and then connected into Cairns," Gollschewski said.

"That person has expressed they were frustrated with the restrictions, didn't like them and wanted to go to work -- so a quite selfish approach."

Queensland authorities said the border closure status would be reviewed at the end of August.

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