Queensland will reopen its borders on Monday morning with the state set to hit 80 per cent double dose within days.
A border bubble will also be established sparing border zone residents from having to get a test to enter Queensland.
Double vaccinated people from interstate hotspots will be able to enter Queensland by road or air without quarantining from 1am on Monday, December 13.
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However, the definition of fully vaccinated will be relaxed slightly from two weeks after the second dose to just one week.
People from outside the border zone will also need to return a negative COVID 72 hours before arriving in Queensland.
They will also need to get tested on day five of their arrival into Queensland.
“This is going to be a very, very special time of the year and as a government, we’ve been very conscious of how important this is to reunite families. And once again, I want to say thank you to everyone who’s been involved in our tremendous response,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
The Premier confirmed double vaccinated border residents will be allowed to cross freely into Queensland for any reason from Monday without having to return a negative test.
Border residents will only need a border pass which will be valid for 14 days.
“I know this has been very, very tough on our border communities and thank you for your patience and your understanding,” The Premier said.
The border bubble will encompass areas of northern New South Wales that are currently in the border zone with the exception of Moree which is currently a declared hotspot.
Checkpoints will remain in place at road borders until Queensland hits 90 per cent double dose.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll warned motorists to expect lengthy delays.
“I need everyone to plan ahead and pack their patience. This is incredibly important,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“To speed up the process, make sure that all of those travelling into Queensland have a border pass that is clearly displayed and easy to see. Motorists, please consider travelling out of those traditional peak hours.
“Police will be meeting you at the borders, particularly on the road borders. We’ll be conducting anywhere from random to 100% compliance checks.”
Queensland recorded no new local cases of COVID-19 on Monday and just three in quarantine.
89 residents of a Mudgeeraba nursing home visited by an infected person have so far returned negative results with officials still waiting for the results of three others.
Acting Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken says while today’s COVID numbers are welcome, things will change when Queensland’s borders reopen.
“This is just the start and as we open up even with an 80 per cent double dose vac rate, we are far better off than many other countries, many other jurisdictions in Australia,” Dr Aitken said.
“But, we will have cases, that’s inevitable and we have to be ready for that.”
More to come