InQueensland

NEWS •⁠ POLITICS •⁠ BUSINESS •⁠ CULTURE

Get InQueensland in your inbox Subscribe

Open house: Premier rolls out welcome mat for international travellers

News

Queensland’s borders will reopen to international travellers to arrive without the need to do 14 days of quarantine from 1am on Saturday.

Print article

The throwing open of the State’s borders to overseas visitors comes as Queensland is on the cusp of reaching 90 per cent double dosed status.

However Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed concern that the Gold Coast, a major entry point, continues to lag behind other regions in terms of vaccination rates.

Palaszczuk said that whilst Brisbane was sitting at 93-95 per cent vaccination rates for first dose, Cairns was at 94.1 per cent, the Gold Coast is still only at 90.5 per cent.

The international travel announcement comes as Queensland on Wednesday recorded 19,932 new cases of Covid-19 and another 11 deaths and amid warnings that the next three weeks will be “very tough” as the Omicron wave reaches its peak.

Palaszczuk said the Government’s Covid task forced had decided to allow fully vaccinated international travellers to enter the State without the need to quarantine for 14 days, giving certainty to families, airlines and businesses.

“From 1am Saturday you can come into Queensland and if you are vaccinated you will not have to do quarantine,” Palaszczuk said. “You are free to come in.”

Unvaccinated travellers will still need to do mandatory quarantine.

The Premier said that international arrivals would be asked to do a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival but this would not be policed.

“We do believe that now is the right time with our vaccination rates so high. We want to give certainty to people who are travelling.”

Palaszczuk however pleaded with Gold Coast residents to go out and get vaccinated due to their lagging rates, which are behind all other regions, especially as the Gold Coast is a gateway for international arrivals.

She said RAT tests, 24 hours after arrival, were a “precautionary measure” and the reality was that they were more likely to contract Covid-19 after arrival here given the high case numbers.

“We are asking people to please do that (RAT test) just to check if you are testing positive. If you are positive you should go and see your doctor or isolate at home. It is an added protection to the community.

“I am not too concerned about it. There is more virus circulating in the community now than there would be on a plane coming in. I don’t think it will have a big impact on case numbers.”

International air crew would also, from Saturday, have no need to quarantine provided they are vaccinated and have a negative test on arrival.

“You only need to quarantine for seven days if you have tested positive.”

Palaszczuk said the new arrangements for international arrivals were consistent with regimes in other States.

The State on Wednesday is sitting at 88.82 per cent of the population double vaccinated, just short of the magic 90 per cent figure.

“Over the past week I have had a look at our regions and our vaccination rates,” Palaszczuk said. Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns would be the major international entry points.

She said some parts of Brisbane were 95 per cent vaccinated as were Mackay, the Wide Bay region and the Darling Downs. South West Queensland was 93 per cent.

But the Gold Coast is still sitting at just 90.5 per cent.

In relation to the continued shortages of RAT tests, Palaszczuk called for a united national approach.

“I think we all need to co-operate here and do as much as we can to get as many RAT tests into the country.”

And Palaszczuk called for local companies, already making RAT tests for overseas use, to be accredited quickly, to get more on the streets.

 

More News stories

Loading next article