Thu. May 19th, 2022

Queensland may call to open its borders to New South Wales, ACT and Victoria after the next national cabinet meeting next month, Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Mrs Palaszczuk said she expected the state to reach 70 per cent full vaccination of eligible Queenslanders in late October or early November.

Queensland reached 50 percent vaccination of all eligible over 16s yesterday, and Friday was the third day in a row with no new locally acquired cases.

Asked at a media conference today when a state border date would be set for reopening, Ms Palaszczuk said a decision could be made after the next national cabinet meeting, held on 5 November.

“There will be another meeting of the National Cabinet next month and we hope to be in a position then, but we will open when it is safe to do so,” she said.

“We are looking very closely at what is happening in New South Wales and Victoria.

“I note that there has been some easing of restrictions in New South Wales. Their vaccination rates are rising quite steadily, which is fantastic.

“But you know it’s very worrying with more than 1,800 cases in Victoria today, so we’d really like to see vaccination rates across the country.

“And do not forget that we are open to the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath, speaking in Rockhampton, said it was up to the Queenslanders whether the borders opened.

“The more people who are vaccinated, the safer our society is to be able to open borders.”

Ms D’Ath said in November she believed almost all eligible Queenslanders would have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

“It simply came to our notice then [by] November, based on the numbers that the Commonwealth tells us should come in, the amount of vaccines that come in that we come close to being able to offer it to everyone. “

On Thursday, Health Director Jeannette Young said she would not be safe in reopening state borders until everyone aged 12 and over has had the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I want every Queenslander who is 12 years or older to have the chance to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Young.

“I think it’s people’s choice, I just hope they choose the vaccine.

“Once that has happened, I think we have the discussion that it’s enough.”

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