Border warning as troops pull out
Police are warning of more long delays at Gold Coast border checkpoints when Queensland reopens to northern NSW on Thursday.
The warning comes as troops prepare to pull out of the checkpoints on Tuesday night, ahead of the partial border reopening and a long weekend.
Queensland will reopen to five northern NSW local government areas from 1am Thursday, including Byron, Ballina and Lismore.
It will allow more than 150,000 extra northern NSW residents to travel freely into Queensland - and about five million Queenslanders to hit Byron Bay and other popular spots.
Gold Coast police chief superintendent Mark Wheeler said hour-long delays had been experienced during previous border relaxations and motorists should brace for more of the same.
"There will be more traffic, more volume and importantly there will be some delays," he said.
"(It's) a long weekend, we will see more people wanting time come into Queensland, we'll see Queenslanders going interstate and wanting to come back.
Supt Wheeler said 15 extra police would replace the 60 soldiers withdrawing from border duty but he was confident there would be enough staff on the checkpoints to cope with the extra traffic.
Traffic flows would be monitored hourly and extra police moved in to ease blockages, he said.
Meanwhile, a fourth quarantine hotel has been established on the Gold Coast after Queensland agreed to take up to an extra 1000 overseas travellers a week.
The Sofitel Hotel at Broadbeach joins the Voco, QT and Crowne Plaza.
Originally published as Border warning as troops pull out