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Annastacia Palaszczuk faces off with media after Queensland records 186 Covid cases

Annastacia Palaszczuk has taken aim at journalists firing off questions about Queensland’s response to its growing coronavirus caseload.

The Premier made the comments during a press conference on Wednesday, after the state recorded 186 new infections in the past 24 hours — its most since the pandemic began.

She was asked by a reporter if Queensland was “holding the rest of the country ransom” with strict testing policies for interstate travellers.

Palaszczuk
Camera IconPremier Annastacia Palaszczuk after Queensland recorded 186 cases on Tuesday. Picture, John Gass Credit: News Corp Australia

“You are wrong, with due respect,” she said.

“Ten per cent of the line-ups are for people who want to get their PCR tests travel all around Australia, not just Queensland.”

Ms Palaszczuk went on to say her main aim for the year’s end was to curb an Omicron surge in Queensland over the festive season.

“It’s frustrating for people in NSW because there are so many people getting tested, because the variant, Omicron, is rampant in NSW,” she said.

“And guess what, I don’t want it rampant in Queensland. I want Queenslanders to have a good, safe New Year.

“Everybody knew our plan. You were all here … and everyone accepted it. We’re going around in circles now.

“I’m not going to discuss this any further because we’re going to discuss it at national cabinet.”

COVID QUEENSLAND
Camera IconLong lines of cars in Murarrie, Brisbane were among thousands of Queenslanders to get tested on Tuesday. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia

The testy exchange came after Ms Palaszczuk announced her state would look at allowing travellers from hot spots to use rapid antigen tests at the start of next year.

Queensland requires fully vaccinated travellers from areas like Victoria, NSW and the ACT need to take a PCR test and return a negative result 72 hours before arriving.

The rule has been criticised for creating testing backlogs and delaying results for people who have been exposed to the virus.

Rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as PCR tests but they are quicker and can be used at home.

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