The Australian state of Queensland will open its doors to vaccinated travelers, ending its Covid-free status. Queensland and Western Australia were among the states most successful in containing the pandemic, and among the states most reluctant to loosen tight border controls after a delta variant took hold in New South Wales in June and spread across Victoria and the Australian Capital Region. Queensland authorities have warned that infection rates will rise and remain high for several months. Treasurer Cameron Dick said: “For nearly 600 days, about two years, we have been keeping the virus out of Queensland. Those days will soon be over. This will be the end of Covid zero for Queensland.”
Queensland Premier Anastasia Palazczuk said fully vaccinated travelers without quarantine will be accepted when 80% of the state’s population aged 16 or over has been vaccinated. This milestone must be reached by December 17th. While they will be accepted into a 14-day quarantine during which 70% of the population will be vaccinated, (a target that must be achieved by November 19). Travelers must test negative for Covid-19 within three days of entering the country.
Palaszczuk said: “I think Queenslanders will understand that this is a reasonable and wise approach to ensuring families are reunited, but people entering Queensland will need to be fully vaccinated. The faster we vaccinate, the faster these goals will be. The faster the goals will be achieved.”
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