Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that Queensland will open its border to the rest of the nation on Monday, December 13. The announcement comes as the state will hit its 80% double vaccination target this week.
- People crossing the border would need to have a negative test
- No quarantine required for fully vaccinated arrivals
- International arrivals must be fully vaccinated and return a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure
- Police are warning there will be significant delays at main border entry points and those disregarding the directive will face heavy fines of $4,135
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from the courier mail 6.12.21
Queensland will open its border to the rest of the nation on Monday, four days earlier than planned.
From 1am, December 13 the border will reopen for fully vaccinated people.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state would hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated this week, but we “can’t predict exactly when”.
She said the Monday date would give people certainty and allow police and authorities to plan for the opening.
“We know how important it is to reunite families, especially coming up to this really special time of year of Christmas,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said people crossing the border would need to have a negative test, with no quarantine required for fully vaccinated arrivals.
She said people only had to wait one week after their second dose to be classed as fully vaccinated.
She said all arrivals from domestic hotspots would also need to get a test on day five of being in Queensland.
International arrivals must be fully vaccinated and return a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure. They will be required to get a test on arrival
They must go into home or hotel quarantine for 14 days
The mandate on cafes, clubs and venues will remain for December 17.
Border zone residents would be able to move freely through the border zone so long as they have a border pass from Monday.
Ms Palaszczuk said it had been a long two years, but said the results speak for themselves.
“The credit here belongs with every single Queenslander,” she said.
A total of 87.3 per cent of Queenslanders have had their first dose while 78.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk said she anticipated Queensland would hit 90 per fully vaccinated by mid-January.
Queensland recorded no new local Covid cases in the past 24 hours, while three were detected in hotel quarantine – two acquired interstate and one overseas.
Ms Palaszczuk said she never thought the state would be in the position of having such high vaccination rates without a significant outbreak of Covid.
She said time was running out for the unvaccinated.
“If you’re out there and you’re not vaccinated time is running out, as we know this has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” she said.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: Josh Woning
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a lot of people are expected to be travelling into Queensland from Monday, with extensive delays expected.
She told travellers to “plan ahead and pack their patience”.
Ms Carroll said police would be conducting random to 100 per cent compliance checks with every vehicle coming into Queensland to be scanned.
“Those that blatantly disregard the directive there are heavy, heavy fines of $4,135,” she said.
Acting chief health officer Peter Aitken said it was “great news” there was no local cases, including on the Gold Coast.
He said it was likely masks would return once Covid spreads, but praised the state for hitting 80 per cent with a low number of cases.
“This is world leading, Queensland has done an amazing job,” he said.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said a whole lot more people would be able to enter the state a week early after the definition of fully vaccinated changed.
Ms D’Ath said Queensland could expect “a lot more cases as we open up”.
She said there had been 24 cases spread from interstate in Queensland over the past week and a lot more cases were expected once the border reopens.
She underscored the importance of checking in, checking for symptoms, and socially distancing.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath. Picture: Annette Dew
Ms D’Ath confirmed that people who wish to move within the border zone needed to be vaccinated, with those unvaccinated restricted to essential travel only.
She said Moree was the only place within the border zone which was declared a hotspot and therefore had heavier restrictions.
Ms D’Ath said the opening of the border was being done in a safe way.
She accepted that the virus would come in, but the opening of the border and the processes in place would be done in the safest way possible.
Anyone who is in home quarantine as of 1am next Monday will be able to immediately leave as long as they have a negative test result.