Border rules have finally been relaxed slightly for this iron-gated state, but thousands of its people are still waiting to cross the border.
As many as 12,000 residents are eagerly awaiting entry into Queensland, now the state has slightly relaxed its quarantine rules.
Since 5pm on Monday over 12,000 people have placed their names on a waiting list to enter the Sunshine State, with authorities issuing 1319 border passes, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
This comes as recent reports from Sky News suggest Queensland’s border reopening for fully-vaccinated travellers could be moved forward to December 10 – a week earlier than expected.
“They realise the impact this is having, not only on people’s lives, but the tourism industry,” said Sky News’ Queensland Editor Peter Gleeson.
Currently the reopening date is set for December 17, or when 80 per cent of Queensland’s eligible population is vaccinated – whichever comes first.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also hinted at a December 10 reopening date.
“Queenslanders have done such a great job that this 70 per cent milestone has been reached earlier than expected so we are definitely on track to meet the December 17 (opening target) but it may come earlier,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’re on target to reach it by December 17 but we’re now a week earlier so it could come a week earlier.”
As of November 16, 70.5 per cent of Queenslanders over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, with the state recording just 15 active Covid-19 cases.
Now the state is 70 per cent fully-vaccinated, residents stranded in hot spots can isolate at home for 14 days, instead of paying $3220 to $5040 to quarantine in government arranged accommodation.
To enter the state, domestic travellers must be able to prove they are fully vaccinated, arrive by air and show a negative Covid-19 test from the past 72 hours. They must also have a suitable residence to quarantine in, that must not have a shared common access area and be within a two-hour drive from the airport.
Although restrictions have slightly eased, stern warnings have been issued to residents to “understand their obligations before they come”. Speaking to media, Mr Gollschewski warned that those who don’t follow the rules will be turned away.
“People coming in need to make sure they do meet the requirements of entry to be able to complete home quarantine. If they don’t, they will not be issued with a border pass,” he told reporters.
“It’s really important to remember that there are still breaches for failure to do this. Anyone that comes into our airport, not only will they be turned away if they do not have the right paperwork, they will be breaching as per the health directions.”