Qld to speed up home quarantine expansion

·3-min read

Eligible domestic travellers will be allowed to fly in and home quarantine across Queensland as soon as 70 per cent of the state's residents are fully vaccinated.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says people in NSW, ACT and Victoria hot spots can "start booking flights" if they meet their criteria after confirming home quarantine eligibility had been expanded.

It will now be available to fully vaccinated travellers who test negative and have direct fresh-air access to the front door of their quarantine residence, which must be within a two-hour drive from landing.

Ms D'Ath said eligible visitors can only fly into Queensland at least two weeks after their final dose.

They can fly directly from hot spots into airports anywhere in Queensland but can also transit once through the Brisbane terminal when the state hits its vaccination target.

With 68.31 per cent of eligible Queenslanders fully vaccinated, home quarantine could be available as soon as Sunday.

"People who meet this criteria will have the certainty to now start booking flights to come back to Queensland," Ms D'Ath said.

Previously, the state government planned to allow home quarantine for fully vaccinated domestic travellers who tested negative from November 19, and only for people in the south-east.

But they expanded it after a successful trial last month.

"More than 1000 people in eight local government areas in southeast Queensland took part in the trial and their feedback has been very positive," Ms D'Ath said.

"This trial has helped shape a new approach to home quarantine that will make the process more comfortable and accessible for all returning Queenslanders, not just those in the south-east ... (and) eligible domestic travellers also."

Upon their arrival, travellers driving from the airport must use a private car, a hire car with contactless pick-up or an endorsed transport provider.

If there are other residents in the quarantine residence, they must also isolate for 14 days and undergo a range of testing and check-in requirements.

"This is great news for people interstate. It's a great step forward for Queensland in opening up," Ms D'Ath said.

The health minister urged Queenslanders to get fully vaccinated, saying opening the state to "thousands" of visitors from as early as this weekend would come with a risk.

"This is the right thing to do. It is a balanced, reasonable approach to let people come into Queensland but it does come with a risk," she said.

"Thousands of people will be able to come into Queensland from... hot spots.

"This means there is more reason than ever for people to come out and get vaccinated today to get the protection that they need because this virus is going to come into our community."

Entry by road does not look likely until next month, with Queensland scrapping quarantine for fully-vaccinated domestic travellers who test negative when the state hits the 80 per cent double dose target, or December 17 at the latest.

Once 90 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are vaccinated quarantine will also be scrapped for fully jabbed international travellers who test negative.

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