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Queensland's daily COVID-19 numbers continue to jump substantially with 369 new infections recorded, up from 186 the previous day.
The increase in cases came as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged changes to the state's regime for travellers arriving from interstate hotspots, but not in time for Christmas.
Currently, those wanting to come to Queensland must get a negative PCR test result in the 72 hours before arriving, but waiting times at testing clinics around the country have blown out.
"We had a great national cabinet meeting yesterday, we're talking about those rapid tests ... we're looking at bringing those in on the first of January," Ms Palaszczuk said on the Gold Coast on Thursday.
"When I went to Tokyo, you actually got your testing done there and then. You waited 15 minutes and you were free to go.
"Perhaps the airports could help us as well."
Arrivals from NSW, Victoria and the ACT were increasing by "about 30,000 a day", she said.
As cases continue to climb in Queensland, Chief Medical Officer John Gerrard said one person was in hospital sick with the virus.
Another 93 people are in hospital beds for isolation and quarantine reasons, while 163 cases are being managed at home.
"Not only is the spread of this virus inevitable, it is necessary," he said on Thursday.
"In order for us to go from the pandemic phase to an endemic phase, the virus has to be widespread."
The only two options to develop immunity were to get vaccinated, or get the virus, Dr Gerrard said.
The high case numbers are causing havoc for small businesses forced to close in the run-up to Christmas after restaurants are listed as exposure sites.
Townsville Yacht Club manager Mark Cruickshank said his venue has shut down while staff waited for test results after becoming a close contact.
"Unfortunately we don't have the back-up staff to open so we were forced to close yesterday," he said.
The announcement came in the middle of lunch on Wednesday, with Christmas functions cancelled that evening.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said business owners wanted clarity and consistency.
"They feel as much confusion now as what they did two years ago when COVID first came to Queensland," he added.
The state reached the 90 per cent threshold for first-dose vaccinations on Wednesday, according to federal government data.
At least 85.65 per cent of eligible residents aged over 16 are fully vaccinated as of Thursday, with modelling suggesting Queensland will hit 90 per cent double-dosed in early-to-mid January.
The state has hit 90.25 per cent of people having received one dose of a vaccine, according to federal government data.
Meanwhile, a new mandate is being enforced throughout the state, with masks required in theatres and cinemas as well as for workers in hospitality venues.
Ms Palaszczuk pleaded with Queenslanders to go beyond the mandated rules and wear masks in public indoor areas.
"When you are going indoors, please mask up," she said.
Masks are already mandated in supermarkets and shops as well as public transport and rideshares.