Call the fam and start making Christmas plans, because we finally have some details on when Queensland will open its borders to the southern states (and the world)—and it’s happening just in time for Christmas Day.
Announced today by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, travel restrictions will ease when Queensland hits the magic numbers of having 70% and 80% of eligible Queenslanders fully vaccinated. Currently, we’re projected to hit 70% on Friday 19 November, and 80% on Friday 17 December, which means Christmas travel is back on the cards.
Next month, when we hit 70% fully vaccinated, fully vaccinated visitors and returning residents will be able to enter Queensland from an interstate hotspot and quarantine for 14 days at home rather than in a hotel. There are a few caveats—you can only enter by air, not by road, you have to test negative to COVID-19 within the previous 72 hours, and this doesn’t apply to international arrivals, who will still need to complete two weeks of hotel quarantine.
The really big news though, is that once we hit 80% fully vaccinated, interstate travellers who are fully vaccinated won’t need to quarantine at all, whether they arrive by air or road, as long as they have tested negative to COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior. Meanwhile, fully vaccinated international travellers with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours will be able to home quarantine, though unvaccinated international arrivals will still need to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.
But wait, there’s more. When we hit 90%, which there isn’t a predicted date for yet, but hopefully will be soon, there’ll be no border restrictions or quarantine for fully vaccinated people at all. Queensland will be open for business, and you can finally make that trip to see your friends and family without having to worry about whether you’ll get stuck on the other side.
And, Palaszcuk said that "the faster we are vaccinated, the faster these deadlines will be achieved. It means that some of these dates may come forward if we get the vaccination rates up."
So there you go—Christmas get-togethers are a go, and all it takes is getting the jab. You can read the full plan for the border re-opening here, and stay tuned for further updates.
Meanwhile, here's more info on Australia's international borders.
Image credit: City of Gold Coast