Queensland recorded one new case of coronavirus on Monday as the state’s deputy premier said border restrictions with NSW would not necessarily ease with 80 percent of the population vaccinated.
One new case was linked to the Indooroopilly cluster and was in home quarantine.
A second case was a person who returned from the Philippines and was in hotel quarantine.
Yesterday Mr Miles said Queensland’s agreement to the national cabinet’s plan to reopen Australia once vaccination rates reached 70 and then 80 percent occurred before the current outbreak in NSW.
‘We signed up to a plan that said at 70 per cent lockdown would be much less likely, and at 80 per cent they would likely only need to be very targeted.’
The comments came was thousands of angry protestors gathered at the NSW and Queensland border on Sunday to rage against it being closed amid the Covid outbreak.
Up to 2,000 people, including one man on horseback, congregated at both sides of the border at about 12pm on Sunday.
The protest resulted in the arrest of nine people and more than 50 fines handed out for breaching public health orders.
Police are still searching for the man on horseback, who rode through the crowd encouraging protestors to cross the border.
Thousands of angry protestors gathered at the New South Wales and Queensland border to hit back at Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on Sunday
Up to 2,000 people congregated at both sides of the NSW and Queensland border, where police made nine arrests and issued more than 50 fines
On Monday Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state remained concerned about the escalating number of cases in NSW.
‘We have to be incredibly vigilant,’ she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she was ‘extremely disappointed and concerned’ about the protest at the border yesterday.
‘They have stay-at-home orders in NSW for a purpose.’
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said it was ‘a matter of time’ before a positive case from NSW came across the border.
‘We are seeing increased cases in NSW getting closer and closer to our border so its only a matter of time before it crosses,’ she said. ‘Police are doing an amazing job but eventually it will cross.’
Angry residents who live on the NSW side of the border targeted the new border restrictions introduced by Queensland, which required essential workers from NSW to have had one dose of vaccine.
On Boundary Street in Coolangatta, the man on horseback was heard chanting ‘Cross the border. Everyone cross the border, they can’t hold all of us’.
Other rally attendees yelled ‘who do you work for’ at police while others held signs that said ‘Open the Border Now’ and ‘No Vaxx Passport’.
Around 50 police officers monitored the mostly peaceful protest, which objected to the border restrictions dividing people who live and work either side of the border
Other rally attendees yelled ‘who do you work for’ at police while others held signs that said ‘Open the Border Now’ and ‘No Vaxx Passport’
Meanwhile at Jack Evans Harbour in Tweed Heads, a blockade of protestors who outnumbered police were seen forcing the officers to retreat.
One demonstrator from West Tweed said crossing the border into Queensland was a daily occurrence for a lot of his community.
‘To stop people being able to do that – particularly in the situation where there’s no cases in our area – is hypocrisy,’ he told the ABC.
Few attendees at the protest were seen wearing masks, while others kissed and hugged in the tightly-packed crowds.
While some protestors argued there were no active cases in northern NSW, Covid-19 particles were detected in Byron Bay’s sewage system on Tuesday.
The coastal town was also visited by a Covid-positive man and his two teenage children who travelled from Sydney last month.
The rally was just hours after state leaders condemned anti-lockdown demonstrations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns on Saturday and NSW recorded a pandemic-record of 830 locally-acquired cases.
A plane flew overhead the protestors with a banner reading: ‘Tweed zero cases. Why lockdown insanity?’ (pictured)
An attendee at the NSW and Queensland border rally on Sunday is seen holding a sign reading ‘Plandemic’
At Boundary Street in Coolangatta, one man on horseback (pictured) was heard chanting ‘Cross the border. Everyone cross the border, they can’t hold all of us’
Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles described Sunday’s protests at the border as ‘shameful and reckless’.
‘We’ve gotten through this because Queenslanders have done the right thing, we’ve kept each other safe,’ he said.
‘That’s not the kind of behaviour Queenslanders do, it’s very un-Queensland like.’
The deputy premier said the border between the two states was one of the riskiest places for unwanted transmission of the virus.
‘We have to see the situation in NSW the same way we’ve seen the situation in other countries throughout this pandemic,’ he said.
Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles described the protests at the borderline as ‘shameful and reckless’
The deputy premier said the border between NSW and Queensland is one of the riskiest places right now for unwanted transmission of the virus
The large crowds congregated on both sides of the border to protest lockdown restrictions, with many attendees not wearing masks and others seen kissing and hugging
‘By having a protest there, we make the jobs of our police harder, they put their own safety at risk as well as the safety of the community and I’m frankly pretty disgusted.’
One attendee of the border rallies described the public health orders as ‘a disgrace’ and a direct attack on his freedom and ability to move.
‘It’s affecting people’s businesses and social lives,’ he told the ABC.
‘This will be the break-up of the Commonwealth of Australia, it will be the fragmentation of Australia into disparate, fighting, disputing groups and the end of democracy as we know it.’
Another woman from Pottsville in NSW said she worked across the border and had lost her source of income, making her dependent on the government.
‘It’s really, really distressing and we’re angry — we’re angry about our government,’ she said.
She said a travel bubble between the two states was implemented during previous lockdowns and was the optimal solution.
Meanwhile, in the Brisbane CBD hundreds of protestors took to the city streets to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis unravelling in Afghanistan.
One attendee of the border rallies described the public health orders as ‘a disgrace’ and a direct attack on his freedom and ability to move (pictured, police monitor the crowds)
The rally on the borderline is a latest in a suite of illegal demonstrations across the country that health authorities fear could become superspreader events
NSW recorded a pandemic-record of 830 new cases of Covid-19 overnight, with 94 fighting for life in intensive care.
The state’s Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys said police issued 240 penalty infringement notices in the last 24 hours across the state.
Many were related to those involved in Saturday’s planned anti-lockdown protests in Sydney CBD.
About 1,500 officers were deployed on Saturday to stop protesters from marching, with police issuing 37 tickets after stopping around 38,000 cars entering the city.
The huge coordinated police presence and operation appeared to overwhelm protest efforts.