Qld records 1589 new cases as PCR travel tests scrapped

Queensland has recorded another increase in COVID-19 cases with a further 1589 infections reported on Wednesday.

That’s an increase of around 400 from the previous day.

At least eight people are being treated for COVID symptoms in Queensland hospitals but none are currently in ICU.


Chief Health Officer John Gerrard says that is the key benchmark.

“This is one of the most critical numbers to monitor when we’re getting some gauge of how severe this disease actually is in Queensland, that number of people in intensive care,” Dr Gerrard said.

More than 35,000 tests were carried out on Tuesday which is an increase of 3000 on the day before despite the scrapping of the day five test for travellers.

Dr Gerrard warned that case numbers will rise “very rapidly” in the next few weeks as Omicron continues to spread.

“The Omicron variant is becoming more and more dominant in Queensland. It’s probably more dominant in Queensland than any other state.

“We’re now pushing 80 per cent of cases are Omicron which is probably good in the grand scheme of things.

“It has a downside in that it’s much more contagious than Delta but on the good side it does appear to be a milder disease, particularly for those who are vaccinated.”

The state government confirmed on Wednesday that PCR tests for travellers coming to Queensland from interstate hotspots will be scrapped from Saturday.

People will still a negative rapid antigen test to enter the state.

But Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll concedes it will very much be an honesty system.

“It’s definitely a declaration. A declaration means you are telling the truth. If you make a false declaration obviously you will be issued with an infringement notice,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“If you are intercepted at the airport questions will be – when did you have the test? Where was it? At what time etc, so I ask everyone to abide by the requirements of the declarations.”

More to come.