Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that Queensland will open its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots on Monday December 13, bringing the date forward from the original date December 17.
The Queensland premier said nominating a time and date provides certainty for everyone. “Queensland’s plan to reunite families had nominated December 17 as the target to re-open,” she said.
“It is clear we will reach our target of 80% fully vaccinated much sooner although exactly when is difficult to predict.
“Nominating a time and date provides travellers and business with certainty to make their plans and comes four days early.”
The new updates will mean that as of the coming Monday:
- Travellers from interstate hotspots can arrive by road or air
- They must be fully vaccinated
- They must provide a negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours
- No quarantine is required for the fully vaccinated
- International arrivals must be fully vaccinated and return a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure
- They will be required to get a test on arrival
- They must go into home or hotel quarantine for 14 day
The main changes here are that travellers won’t have to wait two weeks after their second dose to be considered fully vaccinated, one is enough, and travellers from hotspots must get a test on the fifth day after arrival.
Vaccinated border zone residents will now be able to freely move across the border without having to take a COVID test, however a 14 day border pass will be required.
Unvaccinated residents will be limited to restricted travel and are banned from Queensland hospitality venues, live music venues, festivals, government stadiums, galleries, museums, libraries, aged care, hospitals, prisons, and disability services, unless in the case of an emergency, end of life situation, or birth of a child.
Palaszczuk said that their cautious approach was to keep Queensland safe.
“We will live with COVID – but on our terms,” the Premier said.
“We must continue to protect the freedoms Queensland has enjoyed throughout the pandemic and the best way to do that is to continue getting vaccinated.”
Palaszczuk’s recent pattern of ‘ruling by press release’ has been criticised by the president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties (QCCL) Michael Cope.
“The Premier cannot make law by press release. It is entirely inappropriate that almost 2 weeks out from these complex rules coming into place, businesses and individuals in this State cannot plan properly for the new laws,” he said.
“No lawyer will be able to properly advise their client, particularly their small business clients without access to the actual terms of the law. A press release is no substitute for the actual direction.”
The QCCL argue that the government should immediately publish a proposed direction, with a provision that it will not be enforced until the later date.
In particular they outline the original aforementioned restrictions for unvaccinated people announced for December 17 and the lack of information given for it.
“It is a fundamental premise of the rule of law that people are entitled to certainty in conducting their lives and businesses,” said Cope.
“A draft of this proposed direction must exist. Too often in this pandemic, these directions have been released either just as they start or on occasions after they came into force.”