January 20, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | The Gold Coast | Credit: Tourism Australia
With a high and still-rising vaccination rate, from 1am AEST on January 22, Queensland will remove the requirement for fully vaccinated international travellers to undergo 14 days home quarantine upon arrival in the state.
“This gives certainty to the airlines, it gives certainty to the incoming travellers that from 1am on Saturday you can come into Queensland and…if you are vaccinated, you will not have to do quarantine,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced yesterday.
“You are free to come in – we’re asking you to do a RAT test within 24 hours, this is consistent with other states,” she said.
“We do believe that now is the right time with our vaccination rates so high [at] 88.82 [percent]. We want to give some certainty to the industry and certainty for people who are travelling.”
However, given the slowing second dose COVID-19 vaccination rate over the past week, Queensland will fall short of its original 90 percent second dose vaccination coverage target as the trigger to allow quarantine free international arrivals. But with over 89,000 active cases in the state, the impact of quarantine-free international arrivals is likely to be negligible.
With international flights arriving into Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns, Palaszczuk called out the Gold Coast for its lower vaccination rate, urging residents to come forward for their first, second or booster shot.
Last week, Queensland also abolished the remaining domestic border restrictions for interstate travellers, removing the requirement for a pre-departure COVID test as well as the requirement to be vaccinated. Once in Queensland, however, heavy restrictions remain for unvaccinated people, limiting access to most public places.