WORKERS entering Queensland from New South Wales will soon be required to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to get into the state.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday morning that the new rules come into effect on Friday.
“Those few who are exempt – so that means those essential workers – they will be required from Friday to have had at least one dose of their vaccination,” the Premier said.
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It’s understood the rules will apply to essential workers from Queensland crossing into the border zone in northern New South Wales, as well as residents from New South Wales crossing into Queensland.
A full health directive will be issued by Queensland Health later today.
Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, said she expects most will already have had at least one dose, especially those in the healthcare sector.
“Most of these people would already have been vaccinated,” said Dr Young.
“I suspect there won’t be many, but just in case they are, I’ve put that deadline in that by Friday, they must be vaccinated.
“Otherwise, they cannot, although they’re essential, they cannot cross the border.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said they will be boosting vaccines near the border.
“We will be putting in place measures at our vaccination centres down on the border on the Gold Coast to ensure those that have an exemption can turn up and show that they are one of those exempt essential workers and be able to be prioritised for a vaccine,” Ms D’Ath said.
“We want to support them in getting vaccinated as quickly as possible.
“We do need them to do this because we need to keep ramping up our measures to make us a safe as possible due to the escalating risks we are now seeing coming out of New South Wales and of course now ACT and Victoria.”The Premier also urged those who do need to travel across the border to be patient, after lengthy delays were seen on Monday morning.
Some people reported waiting over two and a half hours to get through to a checkpoint, as police thoroughly checked every car coming through to make sure they have a valid reason to be in the state.
“I would appreciate that every Queenslander would understand that these measures are needed,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“They are strict. We will be enforcing them.
“It is going to cause some inconvenience but this is what is necessary to make sure that we continue to keep our Queenslanders safe as possible.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she was concerned about the risk the New South Wales outbreak posed for Queensland.
“We also know that the positive sewage testing for Delta has been creeping northwards, so we are very concerned,” she said.
“Police and our officials are stopping everyone coming in from the southern states into Queensland through our airports and they’ll be stopping people coming in through the roads.
“These strict border measures are necessary and they will be enforced. So if you do not need to travel, do not travel.”
It comes as Queensland records another day of no new cases, both locally and in hotel quarantine.
There are still 129 active cases across Queensland and over 3,300 people remain in home quarantine.