Queensland will now allow fully vaccinated interstate visitors to fly into the state, after the state reached the full-dose vaccination rate of 70 per cent.
The changes took effect at 5pm on Monday 15 Nov 2021, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing interstate visitors can enter the state if they can produce a negative COVID-19 test.
Visitors arriving from Queensland-defined hotspot areas such as all of NSW and Victoria will need to quarantine in an eligible home for 14 days.
Only fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed into the state, so long as their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was more than two weeks prior to departure.
The negative COVID-19 test must not be older than 70 hours prior to the visitor’s departure.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath confirmed passes would be issued “instantly” if applicants meet all of the requirements.
Ms D’Ath has outlined the restrictions around home quarantine.
People can quarantine in a standalone home, a townhouse or apartment, as long as they do not have to access the residence through a common walkway or corridor.
Arrivals will also need to be fully vaccinated by at least two weeks before landing, and return a negative COVID-19 test result within 70 hours of flying in.
Suitable residences must be within two hours of the airport they land at – but people are able to transit through Brisbane on a single flight.
People can use their private vehicle if somebody drops their car off, as long as there is no direct contact.
Family members can also pick up their arrival, so long as they quarantine with them.
Contactless car hire is also permitted, but taxis or rideshare services will not meet the criteria.
Opposition leader, David Crisafulli, criticised the Health Minister’s reluctance to allow travel to the state by road, as many remain stranded with their cars in NSW.
“How is jumping on a plane with dozens of others safer than jumping in your car, without stopping, and getting home? That doesn’t look like a protection mechanism to me,” he said.
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski has said detailed planning is underway for the broader changes to come at 80 per cent vaccination.
He said if the 80 per cent mark was reached earlier than the December 17 forecast, the changes would also be ready to roll out early.
Ms Palaszczuk said it was possible that Queensland would hit 80 per cent double dose up to a week early.
“I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up,” she said.
At 80 per cent, it’s known borders will open up more significantly, including road ones.
There are currently 14,000 people waiting to enter Queensland, including a mixture of residents, Australians relocating and family visitors.
Source: 9news.com.au, published 15 Nov 2021.