Queensland hints at border reopening date

·3-min read

The Queensland government has hinted at its plans for re-opening the state's borders, indicating the next five to six weeks are crucial for Covid-19 vaccinations.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says unvaccinated Queenslanders need to get the jab, with 70 per cent of the eligible in the state having had one dose by Sunday.

Ms D'Ath strongly hinted at a reopening timeline when asked the vaccine target for reopening the borders to virus hotspots in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

"The target is getting yourself protected in the next five to six weeks. That is your mission," she said.

"Get yourself protected and that helps protect our whole community and allows us to open up."

Police check cars at the Queensland-NSW border in September during the Covid pandemic.
The Queensland government has hinted at its plans for re-opening the state's borders. Source: AAP

The government has not recommitted to opening the borders once vaccination coverage reaches 80 per cent.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the state has modelled reopening at 80 per cent, but she would prefer if vaccine coverage reached 95 per cent.

"It shows that we would be stretched, of course we would be, which is why I don't want to stop at 80 per cent," she said.

"I would like to see every single Queenslander, 12 years of age or older, vaccinated. I think that's absolutely critical.

"The more Queenslanders who are vaccinated, the less the impact will be on our health system."

A man is seen talking to Coolangatta police on the Queensland-NSW border during an anti-lockdown protest.
Queensland recorded zero new local cases on Monday. Source: AAP

Queensland records zero Covid cases

Queensland recorded zero new local cases on Monday after a Sydney man visited Brisbane Airport while infectious over the weekend.

The traveller did not have a correct border pass and was put into hotel quarantine before being flown back to NSW.

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

In the 24 hours to Monday, the state conducted 6825 tests while 21,712 vaccines were administered by Queensland Health.

Queensland hits Covid vaccine milestone

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

Queensland's Vaccine Coordinator and Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy said that was not due to hesitancy.

"Absolutely, Queensland and WA we've done so well keeping Covid out of our states, I don't think it's necessarily hesitancy, I just think that people have become complacent," he told ABC Radio.

"We're a bit of a victim of our own success in Queensland, but it's not going to hold and people need to realise waiting for a vaccine is like waiting for a hailstorm to be over the top of your car. It's no good moving your car undercover once it's damaged, it's the same as the vaccine, we need to get out and get it now."

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

The state has also kicked off a trial of home quarantine for 1000 residents, some of whom have been stuck in interstate hotspots for months.

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

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

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