The arrival of a major vaccine milestone is set to herald new freedoms, including scrapping one annoying rule, for residents of one state.
Queenslanders should be free to ditch their masks within 24 hours as the state prepares to hit the 80 per cent first-dose vaccine milestone.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday confirmed masks will no longer be required indoors, including schools, cafes, pubs, clubs, hairdressers and workplaces, once 80 per cent of residents get at least one jab.
The state currently has 79.6 per cent of people with one dose, meaning the restrictions could ease on Wednesday.
“This is another small step back towards life as normal,” the Premier said.
Queensland has not reached the 80 per cent first dose level, while only 67.4 per cent are fully vaccinated. But the state is still ahead of only Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Ms Palaszczuk said masks will only be needed at airports and on planes, in line with federal rules.
“Queenslanders have done an incredible job all through the pandemic – the more of us vaccinated, the faster we can return to life the way it used to be,” the Premier said.
Residents have, however, been urged not to throw away their masks, as there will likely be situations when they are needed again in Queensland.
“Don’t throw away your mask – they are a powerful defence against COVID-19,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Masks are also strongly recommended for public transport and places where people cannot socially distance.
In less than two weeks time, when the state is expected to hit 70 per cent fully vaccinated target, inoculated travellers from Covid-19 hot spots will be allowed to enter by air if they test negative to and complete 14 days of home quarantine.
Borders are set to open completely to fully vaccinated visitors on December 17.