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Another road map - govt, business to roll out rules for 'fully vaccinated' venues

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Queenslanders will soon get another road map detailing plans to give greater social freedoms to people who’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19.

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The state government on Monday released its plan to reopen the borders to interstate hotspots in time for Christmas.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles says work is under way on a second road map that will explain how life will differ for those who are vaccinated and those who are not.

“We’re just talking with businesses now about which of them might like to take up the opportunity to only have workers and patrons who are vaccinated at their venues,” he told reporters.

“And those venues will be subject to the least restrictions.

“Other venues that have people who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated, that will continue to have some level of public health restrictions, probably until we make that 90 per cent (vaccination) threshold.”

The government will open up the state in two stages.

The first will be when 70 per cent of Queenslanders over 16 are full vaccinated.

That’s expected to happen on November 19. Fully vaccinated travellers will then be allowed in by air, but must home quarantine for two weeks and test negative before arriving.

Things will change significantly when the 80 per cent vaccination target is met.

That’s expected on or before December 17. Fully vaccinated travellers can then come by air and road without having to quarantine, although they must still test negative before arrival.

Those intending to come have been told they won’t be able to rely on rapid antigen tests to satisfy the requirement for negative tests.

Queensland Health says PCR tests, which require processing in a lab, will be needed.

“PCR test results can be turned around on the same day, depending on the volume of testing being performed,” it says.

“We will consider the use of Rapid Antigen Tests for specific cohorts and specific testing situations as we get closer to higher vaccination rates and border openings.”

Meanwhile, questions are being asked about a home quarantine trial that’s helping stranded Queenslanders return home.

It’s unclear if it will ever be expanded to include units and apartments as suitable quarantine locations.

“The home quarantine trial allows us the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of this type of program in Queensland, and make adjustments to enhance or expand it moving forward,” Queensland Health says.

Under the current trial, people must satisfy a range of criteria to be eligible to participate. Factors include direct access, and whether there are shared common areas.

Authorities are pressing on with a concerted push to drive up the state’s vaccination rates before the borders reopen.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said a mass vaccination hub would open at the Cairns Convention Centre for a week from Thursday.

“It’s really important that you get vaccinated before our wet season arrives, and to help lift our statewide vaccination rate before the borders open,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

There will also be a pop-up clinic at the Cairns Central Shopping Centre from Saturday.

“We need far north Queenslanders to get vaccinated,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said a mass vaccination hub will open at the Cairns Convention Centre for a week from Thursday.

“It’s really important that you get vaccinated before our wet season arrives, and to help lift our statewide vaccination rate before the borders open,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

There will also be a pop-up clinic at the Cairns Central Shopping Centre from Saturday, while Townsville residents will soon be able to get their COVID jab at new locations across the city including the Strand night markets.

Seven new pop-up clinics will soon open in Townsville as part of the government’s push to get North Queenslanders vaccinated before Christmas.

The Premier will visit Townsville Wednesday as part of her government’s vax-a-thon week across the state, encouraging Queenslanders to get protected against COVID-19.

“We need North Queenslanders to get vaccinated,” the Premier said.

“This week we released our roadmap to reopening and we don’t want North Queenslanders to get left behind.

“This is a critical time, we can’t keep delta out forever and with the borders reopening in December, we need everyone to get vaccinated now to make sure they are fully protected when they do open.”

 

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