7 January 2021

UPDATED: Police set up COVID-19 checkpoints on Barton Highway and near Questacon

| Dominic Giannini
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Checkpoint warning sign

ACT Policing is warning motorists to have their ID ready for COVID-19 checkpoints. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT Policing has set up a COVID-19 checkpoint on the Barton Highway at Hall as it ramps up compliance operations to enforce the new public health direction blocking people from coronavirus hotspots entering the Territory.

An RBT-style operation will also commence on King Edward Terrance near Questacon this afternoon (7 January).

The ad hoc operations around the ACT will continue until at least mid-next week with a focus on Barton and Parkes after most of the 16 cars turned around on Tuesday were found to be coming to Canberra for a day trip to visit national institutions.

This reduced to 12 turnarounds on Wednesday (6 January) and 50 people were directed into quarantine on the same day.

On the Barton Highway, there were lines around 40 cars deep at 11:30 am this morning as officers checked where travellers were coming from and if they had been to, or reside in, the Greater Sydney area.

The operation included at least 12 officers, four motorcycles, four squad cars and a mobile van. Police had also set up tents.

Officers on site told Region Media that testing sites would pop up without warning around Canberra and motorists were advised to have their ID ready.

READ MORE Police begin RBT-style quarantine checks for COVID-compliance

Police said that while they did not want to inconvenience people unduly, there would be no advance warning of checkpoint locations.

Police operations along the Federal Highway and Sutton Road in Pialligo were also set up earlier this week.

Fines of up to $8,000 can be issued to people found breaking the public health direction.

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It might be more effective to have less Police at each checkpoint, keep them set up around the clock and just stop random cars. People can easily communicate the location of active checkpoints in the same way they do with RBTs and speed traps.
So far there seems to be a regular pattern for the Barton Highway checkpoint being set up, but people should be aware that they may be delayed by anywhere from just a couple of minutes to 45 minutes, in the experience of those I know.

It would be worth checking Mulligans Flat Road in the Bonner and Sutton area, as well as Coree and Uriarra border crossings. I’d assume there would be motorists trying to sneak in through those routes too.

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