Covid Australia: Queensland shuts itself off from midday TODAY

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Queensland will pause its hotel quarantine program for domestic travellers for two weeks amid capacity pressures as it avoids another outbreak of Covid-19.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says with 5114 people currently in hotel quarantine, including 3257 domestic arrivals, the system's 22 hotels are under too much strain.

She says hotel quarantine program, which currently processes people from Covid-19 hotspots including NSW, Victoria and the ACT, will be paused for two weeks from noon on Wednesday.

"We often do not know from day to day how many people are coming into Queensland from other states, they just turn up, they have their pass and they just turned up, and they're just needing hotel quarantine," the premier said.

"So that means that we are scrambling for hotels, and this has got to stop, it's too much pressure.

"So we have to put a pause, it's putting our workers at risk and it's also putting our, our community at risk as well."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the state needs to pause all arrivals after a Covid scare yesterday. Source: AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the state needs to pause all arrivals after a Covid scare yesterday. Source: AAP

Anyone from a hotspot with a border exemption pass will need to rebook under a new system, which is being set up, that will allocate specific hotel quarantine rooms to them from September 8.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Commonwealth's evacuation of personnel from Afghanistan, which she supports, was also putting pressure on the system.

She's not considering a trial of home quarantine like South Australia to reduce to the pressure.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was not as simple as merely standing up more hotels either.

"They need to be vaccinated, they need to be trained in using PPE, they need to be trained in infection control, and we've just reached that capacity," she said.

"That's why we just need a pause to recalibrate."

Meanwhile, Dr Young said that two truck drivers recorded as positive Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, are false positives.

The pair tested initially tested positive in NSW with authorities there alerting Queensland Health about the results after they had crossed the border.

However, when the truckies were retested twice in Queensland, they returned negative results for Covid-19 each time.

"They are not cases which is really good, but despite that I would like to thank those two individuals and all of our other truck drivers who work and cross the borders every single day," Dr Young said.

"These two individuals had done everything correctly, so I think even if they had have been cases, it would have been very low risk."

While Queensland may have avoided an outbreak, the government still sees a risk from the Delta variant outbreak in NSW.

Scenes on the Pacific Motorway at the Queensland and New South Wales border on the Gold Coast last month. Source: AAP
Scenes on the Pacific Motorway at the Queensland and New South Wales border on the Gold Coast last month. Source: AAP

At present only certain essential workers who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine are allowed to cross into Queensland.

About 120 Australian Defence Force troops will arrive on the border to backup police on Wednesday.

Queensland Health has confirmed that strict border controls could remain in place until early November.

"The Chief Health Officer hopes restrictions will be in place no longer than 10 weeks, however nothing has been formalised to that effect," the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

"This is based on the timeframe in which we hope to have 70 per cent of Queenslanders fully vaccinated against Covid-19."

"We regularly review restrictions and will ease or lift them as soon as it is safe to do so, however the reality is outbreaks in southern states will not just disappear over the next few weeks."

Queensland recorded no new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.

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