“We will live with COVID – but on our terms”: Queensland border opens as WA tightens restrictions

“We will live with COVID – but on our terms”: Queensland border opens as WA tightens restrictions

Queensland has reopened its borders to all interstate travel today after hitting its 80 per cent double dose COVID-19 vaccination milestone.

Premier Palaszczuk took to Twitter to congratulate the residents of Queensland on getting vaccinated.

“Queensland’s cautious approach has kept Queensland safe. We will live with COVID – but on our terms,” she wrote.

“We must continue to protect the freedoms Queensland has enjoyed throughout the pandemic and the best way to do that is to continue getting vaccinated.”

From today, people travelling to and from NSW and Queensland do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test and can freely travel to non-restricted border zones. Unvaccinated people can only travel to the unrestricted border zone for permitted and essential purposes.

Travel to restricted border zones is limited to permitted and essential purposes for vaccinated people and only for essential purposes for unvaccinated people.

People can travel to Queensland from hot spots provided they are fully vaccinated, have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival into Queensland, and agree to get a COVID-19 PCR test on day 5 following their arrival into Queensland.

People arriving in Queensland from anywhere else in Australia that is not a hotspot do not need to quarantine and there are no restrictions on entry.

International arrivals into Queensland need to be fully vaccinated, have a negative COVID test within the 72 hours prior to departure, and undertake 14 days of home quarantine. People who don’t meet these criteria will have to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine.

For international arrivals from a safe-travel country, arrangements continue to be quarantine-free.

Alongside these new changes come updates to rules for COVID close contacts in Queensland.

As of the 1st of January 2022, vaccinated close contacts will have to quarantine for 7 days, get tested immediately and on day five, and are encouraged to wear a mask for 14 days after contact.

Unvaccinated close contacts will have to quarantine for 14 days and get tested immediately, on day five and day 12.

Although, due to a surge of cases on the Gold Coast, Western Australia premier Mark McGowan upgraded restrictions for Queensland travellers to “low risk.”

As of today at 12.01am, arrivals must be fully vaccinated, get tested, and self-isolate for 14 days, which would mean they couldn’t see family or friends on Christmas Day.

In happier news, the border update has prompted Virgin Australia to slash prices on select flights.

The airline is offering a million one-way flights across the Sunshine state for $59 each. The sale begins today and will run until 17 December or when flights sell out.

Qantas and Jetstar have also celebrated the border reopening and are expected to have nearly 10,000 passengers on nearly 100 flights to and from Queensland.

These will be some of the first flights between Queensland and Victoria and NSW in more than five months.

Featured image: Twitter/@AnnastaciaMP

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