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Victorian trio positive and unjabbed - Premier says they highlight risks ahead


Three unvaccinated Victorians have tested positive to COVID-19 in hotel quarantine in Queensland, prompting Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to warn that the cases highlighted the need for more vaccinations and ongoing vigilance at our borders.

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The State recorded no new locally acquired cases on Thursday however three new cases were uncovered in hotel quarantine.

It comes as Byron Bay has been hit by a positive COVID-19 case in a backpacker hostel, forcing the entire hostel into lockdown just as hundreds of NSW schoolies are expected to descend on the popular coastal town.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the new Victorian cases during a visit to Cairns on Thursday, urging more Queenslanders to get vaccinated ahead of borders opening up on December 17.

“The virus hunts down the unvaccinated. There is a clear example today of three people coming into Queensland and they were unvaccinated and they have the virus in hotel quarantine,” Palaszczuk said.

But no details were provided about how the three Victorians arrived in the State, when or at what stage in their quarantine they recorded positive tests. InQueensland understands they travelled via air but no details have been released about the particular flight or where it arrived.

The Premier also denied Queensland was lagging behind its target to have 90 per cent double vaccinated by early in 2022.

“We are still looking at around early January (to hit 90 per cent) but it just depends how quickly we can get to that 80 per cent,” Palaszczuk said.

Asked if there was a backup plan if the target was not reached, Palaszczuk said: “We are on target, I am absolutely confident we are on target.”

Palaszczuk said the Government was currently working on a Gold Coast and Tweed border bubble but the Byron Bay case was playing into that.

As of Thursday, 85.29 per cent of Queenslanders had had one dose of the vaccine and 74.51 per cent were double vaccinated.

After a week of bickering and squabbling between the State and Federal Governments over the controversial $150 PCR tests for anyone coming into Queensland from hotspots, Palaszczuk was saying no more.

Pressed on the issue and whether she stood by her comments that the Federal Government “wanted Queenslanders to get COVID-19 for Christmas”, Palaszczuk was keeping her counsel.

“I look forward to working cooperatively with the Federal Government … I think everyone needs to work together,” she said, adding that a National Cabinet meeting was coming up.

The Premier refused to comment further on whether there had been a communication breakdown with her Federal counterparts, prompting a weeklong stoush over who should pay for the PCR tests.

After days of argument, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Tuesday night that the tests would be free and the cost split 50/50 between the State and Commonwealth after the Queensland sphere said a text message rather than a printed pathology result of a negative test would suffice for entry to Queensland.

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