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No further vaccine mandates as state hits 60 per cent fully jabbed


The Queensland government has no immediate plans for further vaccine mandates as it tries to protect the population from COVID-19 before it eases border restrictions.

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The state’s roadmap to reopening will allow fully vaccinated domestic travellers who test negative to quarantine at home from November 19, by which time 70 per cent of eligible Queenslanders will be fully vaccinated.

Quarantine requirements will be scrapped entirely for vaccinated domestic travellers who test negative whenever the state hits 80 per cent, or on December 17 at the latest.

More than three in four eligible Queenslanders have now had a first dose with the government warning people who are yet to get vaccinated have just six days to get a first dose if they want full efficacy before December 17.

Vaccination is mandatory for healthcare workers and police, but Deputy Premier Steven Miles has ruled out obligating other state workers such as teachers to get the jab

“We don’t have plans for that right now,” he told reporters on Monday.

“Our goal is to get to those rates as quickly as possible and I know that the people who work for the government, they’re community leaders in their own right and I’m sure they will all go and get vaccinated.”

Mr Miles has mentioned previously the government will prepare a separate roadmap for unvaccinated people, but he said they are currently focusing on the vaccination plan.

The deputy premier said some businesses would be able to drop restrictions if they opted to only cater for vaccinated customers.

“We’ve been talking to businesses and industry about if they want to avail themselves of that it’s optional, it’s framed as being optional, but it’s here particularly for those businesses for whom those social distancing restrictions can be quite onerous,” he said.

There were growing fears that the Gold Coast’s “lagging” vaccination rates could potentially delay the removal of border blockades and opening up of the state with no restrictions, as pop-up clinics are being added to surf clubs and theme parks to bolster local jab rates.

Gold Coast Police Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman, who is also the local district disaster co-ordinator, said the Gold Coast remained on the front line of the battle to keep the pandemic in check, but vaccination rates remained sluggish.

Meanwhile, Queensland has recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 five days after a Gold Coast man tested positive for the virus.

Police confirmed the man in his 30s, who lives alone, was involved in a “minor disturbance” at the Gold Coast University Hospital on Sunday night.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the man had been so sick he had to be put on high-flow oxygen last week and was on the cusp of being moved into intensive care.

According to media reports the man does not believe he had the virus, abused staff and tried to leave the COVID-19 isolation ward on Sunday night.

However, Queensland police described the incident as a “minor disturbance”, saying no laws were broken.

“There was no breach of a Public Health Direction detected,” police told AAP in a statement on Monday morning.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said no extra health staff or police needed to respond to the incident and the man had been “relatively co-operative”.

When asked for his response to reports the man did not believe he had COVID-19, Miles said he would trust the medical professionals.

“I’ll take the word of the tests, the tests came back positive,” he said.

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