Unvaccinated Queenslanders will be restricted from visiting certain venues from mid-December under strict new reopening rules unveiled by the state government on Monday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state will welcome interstate air arrivals from November 19 – when Queensland is tipped to hit a 70 per cent double dose rate – so long as arrivals are fully vaccinated, return a negative Covid-19 test and go into home quarantine.
Fully vaccinated road arrivals will be welcome from at least December 17, when the 80 per cent double-dose target is reached. This date is locked in and could even be brought forward, with no quarantine required, and only a negative test needing to be returned.
There was, however, bad news for Queenslanders who have not been jabbed.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said there will be certain freedoms that are only available to people that have been vaccinated after December 17.
“We will work with industry and business but we expect that there will be some settings and venues that decide to be vaccinated only, and in return they will have eased restrictions,” he said.
“So there are that there are venues that you can go to. Now, if you‘re unvaccinated that you won’t be able to go to after the 17th of December”.
Ms Palaszczuk said the “sensible and cautious approach” to reopening would see people reunited with their families in time for Christmas, but the state government also fired a broadside at its southern border neighbour.
Mr Miles said the Queensland plan was one “informed by the best health advice” that puts the safety and health of Queenslanders and economic interests first.
“It is not a series of reckless decisions as we’ve seen from NSW,” he said.
“We will not give up on having a plan, as the Prime Minister has for Queenslanders. We can do this, and we can do it with a plan.”
Monday’s update comes as Sydneysiders celebrate the easing of further restrictions, as NSW passes the 80 per cent fully vaccinated mark.
NSW lifted stay-at-home orders last week; double-vaccinated residents are allowed back at pubs and salons, with community sport and dancing now allowed for larger groups of people.
Victoria is also preparing to ease its strictest restrictions on Friday.
There were no new locally acquired Queensland virus cases announced on Monday, extending the state’s run to more than two weeks.
There are 72.07 per cent of Queenslanders with at least one vaccine dose – ahead of only Western Australia. The national average is 84.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, the state’s double-dose vaccinations are at 56.6 per cent and ahead of only the Northern Territory. That figure is behind the national rate of 67.8 per cent fully vaccinated.