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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Queensland Is Reopening to Vaxxed Visitors Nearly a Week Early After Hitting 70-Percent Double Jabs

The Sunshine State might also hit its 80-percent double-vaccinated target early, which is when interstate visitors can enter Queensland without quarantining.
By Sarah Ward
November 15, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
November 15, 2021
  shares

Travelling to and from Queensland is about to become a possibility again, and almost a week earlier than expected. At 5pm today, Monday, November 15, the Sunshine State will start reopening to double-vaccinated visitors. A 14-day stint in home quarantine will still be required if you're coming from a part of the country that's considered a hotspot, but this is the first step in the plan to open Queensland's borders back up — and it's been brought forward after the state hit the 70-percent double-vaccinated mark ahead of schedule.

Yesterday, on Sunday, November 14,  Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the Sunshine State had reached the 70-percent double-dose threshold, which wasn't initially expected until Friday, November 19. Back in mid-October, when the state's roadmap out of border restrictions was revealed, that mark was outlined as the key date for beginning to restart interstate travel. So, today's announcement means that you can now bring forward your travel plans.

When 5pm hits today, travellers who've been in a hotspot area within Australia in the past 14 days can enter the state again. They'll need to be double-vaxxed, to arrive by air and to have received a negative COVID-19 test result in the 72 hours before arriving — and to get a border pass. Also, anyone in this category will need to go into home quarantine for 14 days at a self-contained dwelling that doesn't have any common areas shared with people from outside the household.

Obviously, needing to quarantine — even at home — still isn't the best incentive to travel to and from Queensland; however, given that the state hit the 70-percent double-jabbed threshold early, it's hoped that it'll also do the same with the 80-percent double-vaxxed mark. That was originally expected around Friday, December 17, and it's when travellers from interstate hotspots can arrive in the Sunshine State by either road or air, and also won't need to quarantine at all.

At today's press conference, the Premier advised that "if these rates continue, that is good news because it may even see our date in December [brought] a little bit forward as well — but that depends on Queenslanders getting vaccinated."

Queensland's Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski also advised that the state is "preparing if we need to go earlier as we have this time."

The 80-percent double-vaxxed mark is also when Queensland will ditch capacity restrictions for all hospitality and entertainment venues, and change entry requirements to only allow double-jabbed folks into places such as restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas, stadiums, festivals, libraries, galleries and museums. So, if the 80-percent double-vaccinated threshold is met ahead of schedule, that requirement could kick in earlier as well.

If you're wondering what all of this means for international travel, nothing is changing at the moment — because, under the roadmap, international arrivals are still handled as they have been during the pandemic at the 70-percent double-vaxxed target.

But when Queensland hits 80-percent double-jabbed, double-vaccinated overseas travellers will be able to undertake 14 days of home quarantine — if they've also received a negative COVID-19 test result in the 72 hours before getting to Queensland.

And, when the Sunshine State reaches the 90-percent double-vaccinated threshold, all entry rules and quarantine requirements will be ditched for folks who've had both jabs. For the unvaxxed, the 14-day quarantine rule will still be in effect.

Queensland will start allowing double-vaccinated domestic visitors back into the state via air from 5pm on Monday, November 15. For more information about Queensland's border policies and border passes, head to the Queensland Government website.

Published on November 15, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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