Queenslanders could be banned from traveling abroad for another year due to the state’s declining Covid vaccination rate, a top travel chief has warned.
The state must deliver 30,284 first doses every day from October 25 to October 29 to keep track of its timetable vaccination targets – which include opening up quarantine-free travel to international travelers with 90 percent double dose.
But only 11,574 Queensland residents rolled up their sleeves for a first stab during a political science ‘Super Saturday’ vaccination run over the weekend.
Thirteen-year-old Emily Connor receives a Covid-19 vaccine at a Bunnings hardware store in Brisbane on October 16. A top travel boss has warned Queenslanders to be banned from traveling abroad for another year due to slow Covid vaccination rates
That means the state is likely to have to wait until January to reach the 90 percent double-dose mark, according to a new data analysis from The Courier-Mail.
The Brisbane-based CEO of Australia’s largest travel retailer said it could take even longer to reach coverage if the arms remain glacial.
‘Queensland may not reach 90 percent in six to 12 months,’ said Flight Center CEO Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner.
‘Airlines like Qantas are not going to fly to Queensland without security, so it may take six to 12 months before Qantas returns.’
The slow vaccination rate almost certainly means that the approximately 15,000 Queenslanders abroad who want to return home for Christmas will have to be quarantined for 14 days in a hotel.
Turner said the time may come when Queensland’s Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk may have to follow Western Australia and Victoria to impose vaccinations on large sections of the workforce.
Queensland is likely to have to wait until January to reach the 90 percent double-dose mark, according to a new data analysis. An employee is pictured working at a mass vaccination hub on the South Bank in Brisbane
International passengers arrive at Brisbane Airport. The slow vaccination rate almost certainly means that the approximately 15,000 Queenslanders abroad who want to return home for Christmas will be quarantined for 14 days in a hotel
‘Ultimately, these communities must accept that many of their vulnerable people could die if they are not vaccinated,’ he said.
The warning comes as lockdown-weary Australians from other parts of the country rush to book Queensland’s biggest holiday destinations for the Christmas holidays.
Hamilton Island is almost completely booked out during December and January, after the Queensland government finally reopened its borders to travelers.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has yet to follow Western Australia and Victoria in imposing Covid vaccinations on large sections of the workforce
Lockdown-weary Australians who are desperate for a break from home-grown humdrum snatch up every last summer holiday booking at the Great Barrier Reef (pictured is a holidaymaker looking out on Pentecost)
The rush of school holidays was encouraged by the state, which announced that restrictions would completely relax for fully vaccinated Christmas travelers.
From November 19, unless you come from a hotspot, vaccinated travelers will be able to enter Queensland without quarantine.
And from December 17, even those from hotspots will be able to enter the state as long as they are vaccinated and test negative in the 72 hours before they arrive.
‘We had an increase in the number of bookings from New South Wales following the announcement of the reopening of Queensland’s border,’ said Hamilton Island’s CEO Glenn Bourke.
‘With international tourism limited, Australians have fallen in love with our own backyard and there is no backyard like Hamilton Island.’