Queensland ends Covid restrictions for fully vaxxed by December 17


Queensland will scrap all Covid restrictions for fully vaccinated people in venues once it reaches 80 percent of residents with two doses of vaccine on December 17.  

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced social distancing requirements would end in pubs, clubs, stadium, theatres, restaurants, music festivals and other venues once the milestone was reached.

It followed her announcement early on Tuesday that masks would no longer be needed in venues such as schools, cafes, pubs, hairdressers and workplaces when 80 per cent of eligible Queensland residents had received one dose of the vaccine.

Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland was at 79.63 per cent of people with a first dose but expected it to reach the 80 per cent milestone some time on Tuesday. 

‘We have decided to take this step to keep Queenslanders safe, Millions of Queenslanders have gone and got vaccinated and they deserved to be rewarded for their efforts,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘Families want to know they are safe when they’re out in public settings and that’s why we’ve announced these measures today.’ 

Use of Queensland’s check-in app to prove vaccination status would be required to enter venues. A person’s vaccination status can be registered on the app by November 17, the premier said.  

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will end Covid restrictions in venues once the state hits 80 per cent of fully vaccinated people on December 17. She also announced Queensland would scrap indoor mask rules this week when the state hits the 80 per cent single-dose vaccination mark this week

New Covid rules for Queenslanders from December 17 

Fully vaccinated people, once Queenslanders reaches 80 per cent of eligible (16 and over) residents with two doses of a Covid vaccine, can enter the following without social distancing requirements:

– Pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes

– Nightclubs, live music venues and cinemas

– Sporting stadiums and theme parks

– Indoor and outdoor festivals 

– Government-owned galleries, museums and libraries

– Aged care, hospitals, prisons and disability services. Unvaccinated people will only be excepted in end-of-life or emergency situations. 

 

‘People want to continue to know they are safe and the best way we can protect you and your family is, when you’re coming up especially for the Christmas holidays, you will be going in and out of venues where you will have to show your vaccination on your check-in app and you will have to be fully vaccinated, and so will the staff,’ Ms Palaszczuk said. 

The new rules will be more relaxed than NSW and Victoria, where residents must still wear a face covering in public indoor settings – with the latter yet to set a date for removing the rule.

In NSW, masks are compulsory in all public indoor settings until December 15 or the state hits the 95 per cent double-dose milestone – whichever comes first. 

The announcement comes after the Sunshine State recorded no new Covid cases on Tuesday amid concerns about potential exposure in recent days at opposite ends of the state. One overseas case was detected in hotel quarantine.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said it was relieving no new infections had emerged in the far north or in Goondiwindi, after a case who triggered a lockdown in the Northern Territory was also infectious in Cairns and Mission Beach two weeks ago.

However, concerns remain about potential exposure at Toowoomba Hospital linked to an outbreak in Goondiwindi in southern Queensland.

Darling Downs Health restricted visitors on Sunday afternoon and Ms D’Ath said limits will remain in place indefinitely.

Queensland Health has also listed two new low risk exposure sites at Brisbane Airport domestic terminal, both on Friday.

As the state approaches the milestone of 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders having a first vaccine dose, businesses and the opposition have been calling for clarity on rules in premises and venues.

The government’s roadmap is for quarantine to be scrapped for fully-vaccinated domestic travellers who test negative once the state reaches 80 per cent.

Queensland recorded no new Covid cases on Monday amid concerns about potential exposure at opposite ends of the state. Pedestrians are pictured wearing masks in the Brisbane CBD on September 28 

Businesses want to know how restrictions such as face masks, density limits and social distancing rules will change.

Health minister Yvette D’Ath said today’s announcement was ‘good for business, allowing them to operate at full capacity again once 80 per cent or more of eligible Queenslanders were fully vaccinated.

‘We are days away from being able to remove masks across the 11 LGAs in Queensland and only needing to wear them at airports and in planes in Queensland,’ Ms D’Ath said. 

‘We have listened to business, we have responded. The key issue here is that the virus is coming, At 70 per cent double dose we will have people on planes arriving who could be carrying the virus from NSW, Victoria and the ACT. That’s only a couple of weeks away.’ 

Pedestrians are pictured out and about enjoying a drink in Sydney for their first Friday night of freedom on October 15. Residents in NSW must still wear a face covering in public indoor settings until December 15 or the state hits the 95 per cent double-dose milestone - whichever comes first

Pedestrians are pictured out and about enjoying a drink in Sydney for their first Friday night of freedom on October 15. Residents in NSW must still wear a face covering in public indoor settings until December 15 or the state hits the 95 per cent double-dose milestone – whichever comes first

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said it would not be the role of venues to be the police in terms of enforcing compliance with the vaccination rules.

‘We will do that for you,’ she said. ‘We have seen bad behaviour in other states, that will not be tolerated here. If people do not comply, there will be enforcement action.’

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the process for interstate visitors applying for border passes into Queensland would be streamlined. 

‘We will focus on making sure we keep it moving. What you see today and what you’ll see at 90 per cent [vaccination] will evolve considerably,’ he said. 

‘We’re automating our online border pass system so people can upfront get their passes. As we go forward and get beyond 80 per cent, they won’t even necessarily be intercepted.’  

Ms D’Ath said that Doherty Institute modelling and the experiences of other states on the need for lockdowns and quarantine, including for international travellers, will be considered by the government.

Queensland is waiting until 90 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated before quarantine is scrapped for international arrivals, while NSW and Victoria have already done so.

Lockdowns are also less likely in regions where vaccination rates have passed 80 per cent.

‘When we have really high vaccination rates like Goondiwindi we know that we don’t necessarily have to go into a lockdown,’ Ms D’Ath said.

Overall, 67.4 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, and 79.6 per cent have had one dose on Monday. 

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