Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

The Queensland government has indicated its plans to reopen state borders, indicating that the next five to six weeks are crucial for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says unvaccinated Queenslanders need to get the sting, as 70 per cent of those eligible in the state had had a dose by Sunday.

D’Ath strongly suggested a reopening timeline when asked about the vaccine target for reopening the borders to virus hotspots in NSW, Victoria and ACT.

“The goal is to protect yourself over the next five to six weeks. That’s your mission, ”she said.

“Protect yourself, and it helps protect our entire community and allows us to open up.

“The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you will have protection.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath. Credit: Darren England/AAP

“This virus will enter every single community when Queensland opens up.

“The question is who gets this virus – it will be the people who are not vaccinated.”

The government has not committed to reopening the borders when vaccination coverage reaches 80 percent.

Health chief Jeannette Young said the state has modeled reopening to 80 percent, but she would prefer if vaccine coverage reached 95 percent.

“It shows we would be stretched, of course we would be, and therefore I will not stop with 80 percent,” she said.

“I would like to see every Queenslander, 12 years or older, vaccinated. I think that is completely critical.

“The more Queenslanders who get vaccinated, the less impact it will have on our health care system.”

COVID update

Queensland registered zero new local cases on Monday after a man in Sydney visited Brisbane airport while being contagious over the weekend.

The traveler did not have a proper border passport and was placed in hotel quarantine before being flown back to NSW.

Authorities are not concerned that there has been transmission, but Brisbane Airport had been listed as a low-risk exposure site on Friday and Saturday morning.

In the 24 hours to Monday, the state performed 6,825 tests, while 21,712 vaccines were administered by Queensland Health.

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Meanwhile, more than 70 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had a first dose of a vaccine, which the state still lags behind most others except Western Australia.

Queensland vaccine coordinator and Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy said it was not due to hesitation.

“Absolutely, Queensland and WA we have done so well in keeping COVID out of our states, I do not necessarily think it is hesitation, I just think people have become complacent,” he told ABC Radio.

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‘This virus will enter every single community when Queensland opens up.’

“We are a bit of a victim of our own success in Queensland, but it does not last, and people need to realize that waiting for a vaccine is like waiting for a hailstorm to be on top of your car. There is no point in moving your car undercover once it is damaged, it is the same as the vaccine we have to go out and pick it up now. ”

Queenslanders have plenty of different vaccine options available, he said, so it’s time for people to come forward and get the plug.

Attempts at home quarantine

The state has also initiated a lawsuit against home quarantine for 1,000 residents, some of whom have been hit in interstate hotspots for several months.

Participants must be fully vaccinated and test negative within three days of traveling to the state.

The government says home quarantine will be extended if the trial is successful.

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