Truckies entering Qld face new vax rules

·2-min read

Queensland will mandate vaccination and negative COVID-19 tests for truck drivers moving in and out of the state within 47 days.

The move comes after a seventh truckie tested positive for the virus, among four new locally acquired cases, in Brisbane on Tuesday.

Currently, truckies do not have to be vaccinated to enter Queensland.

But Transport Minister Mark Bailey says the jab will be mandatory for them by mid-November.

Drivers using a Freight Pass will need to have had one dose of a vaccine by October 15 and be fully vaccinated by November 15.

They will also need to test negative for COVID-19 within seven days of entering Queensland from interstate hospots.

"We do know, though, with truck drivers coming across the border regularly coming from hotspots into Queensland, there is an increased risk and that's why there have been some heightened provisions in the past," Mr Bailey told reporters on Tuesday.

"Today's positive case studies show that there is a need to increase those provisions in terms of safety for truckies themselves, and also the safety for the community here in Queensland.

"We've seen seven different instances of truckies being positive and infectious in the community - the latest one today and of course there was the Sunnybank cluster as well.

"What we need to be doing is protecting our community."

The minister said getting a COVID-19 jab was no different from getting vaccinated against whooping cough, tetanus, polio or other diseases.

The state government will prioritise truck drivers in the vaccine rollout from Tuesday. It will set up special roadside vaccination clinics for truckies at Tugun, on the Gold Coast, and at Goondiwindi, in southern Queensland.

Truckies who get fully vaccinated will be offered more freedoms when visiting Queensland, including a relaxation of stay-at-home orders.

"They'll be able to go about our community relatively normally," Mr Bailey said.

"So that's a really good reason to get those two jabs. It will mean that they'll have greater freedoms, given the nature of their work."

Queensland has already mandated COVID-19 vaccination for the state's police officers and healthcare workers.

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