Queensland WON’T lock out the rest of Australia and ruin Christmas for families by scrapping reopening plans over Omicron super-variant… yet
- Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said no change to state’s plan yet
- The Omicron Covid variant was being ‘monitored’ ahead of re-opening date
- Queensland will scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated domestic travellers Dec 17
- The re-opening to occur once 80 per cent of Qld residents are fully vaccinated
Queensland is monitoring developments with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and has signalled there are no plans yet to change the state’s reopening roadmap.
But Deputy Premier Steven Miles says health experts are watching the new variant with an eye to whether current restrictions in the state could be affected.
‘So nothing has changed at this stage, but people should be assured that we will continue to take a cautious, well-prepared approach,’ he told reporters on Monday.
‘Our officials are amongst the best in the world. ‘They will monitor the situation very, very closely and they’ll provide advice to us.’
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles says health experts are watching the new variant with an eye to whether current restrictions in the state could be affected
Queensland plans to scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated domestic travellers once 80 per cent of eligible state residents are fully vaccinated, forecast to be reached on December 17
Queensland recorded no new local cases on Monday morning, but five new cases emerged in hotel quarantine after 6980 tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours.
Mr Miles said the five cases were a family that had travelled to the state through Pakistan.
Currently, Queensland plans to scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated domestic travellers once 80 per cent of eligible state residents are fully vaccinated.
It then plans to scrap quarantine for vaccinated international travellers once 90 per cent of Queenslanders are vaccinated.
All unvaccinated people in the state will be banned from venues such as restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, theatres, cinemas and sporting venues from December 17.
Vaccines are already mandatory for health workers, aged care workers and police in Queensland with Mr Miles saying there could be mandates for other industries.
‘Extending mandates to staff in groups is something that we’ve said we’ll consider and continue to discuss,’ the deputy premier said.
‘Right now, we are seeing a big uplift driven by those 17 December (sic) freedoms, people wanting to get access to those rewards for getting vaccinated, and that is driving our vaccination rate up.
‘We’ll obviously continue to monitor that continue to take advice about what the most appropriate measures are.’
Visitors to Queensland will be able to arrive by both road and air once 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated. Pictured: Cars queue at the NSW-Queensland border at Coolangatta
Education Minister Grace Grace said a vaccine mandate was being considered for the education and childcare sectors. Queensland had put workers in those sectors in the second vaccine priority group, she said, but there was still time to mull a decision given school will break up for the year before restrictions ease.
‘So it’s still under active consideration and we have to make an announcement fairly soon,’ she told reporters.
‘But there’s plenty of time; school breaks up for the summer on the 10th of December.’
The latest figures show 86.17 per cent of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 75.92 per cent have had one dose.