Queensland has recorded one new local COVID-19 cases on the day the state’s border walls finally came tumbling down.
Queensland’s new Chief Health Officer, Dr John Gerrard, said the new case was detected on the Sunshine Coast.
“There’s one case that was in the community on the Sunshine Coast .. between the 8th and the 12th of December who probably acquired his infection at a known site in northern New South Wales,” Dr Gerard said.
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“Quite a number of our incursions have occurred from northern New South Wales in the last few weeks.
“We’re currently investigating where this gentleman has been but, fortunately, it appears he’s not had a great deal of contact in the public domain.”
Nine other cases were detected in hotel quarantine, three from Victoria, four from New South Wales and two overseas acquired.
It was also confirmed that a case announced over the weekend, that had been a casual contact of a Gold Coast Bunnings site, has since been deemed a false positive.
The announcement of a new case comes just hours after Queensland’s tough border restrictions were lifted for fully-vaccinated travellers.
At 1am, those who had been double-dosed and had returned a negative tests, were allowed in by road or air without having to quarantine, leading to emotional reunions right across the state.
“Today we have seen families reunited,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Very emotional scenes right across the state, especially at airports and, of course, our borders.”
Queensland’s first dose vaccination rate is now at 88.32 per cent first dose and 81.23 per cent double dose.
“Never did I think that we would reach the stage where we are almost at 90 per cent first dose and we have not had the large numbers of deaths that we have seen in large parts of the world.”
The Premier also praised police for their work at the border checkpoints throughout the pandemic.
“The Police have manned our borders night and day,” she said.
“We have had strong borders measures put in place to keep your family safe in Queensland and the results speak for themselves.
“And I hope that over this festive season you get to spend time with your loved ones.”
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said they’d had very little issues at the borders so far this morning but did urge travellers to make sure they are filling out the border pass form correctly.
“Can I ask everyone that they really do take their time filling out the border pass,” she said.
“It only takes five minutes, it’s very, very easy and it’ll actually guide you to the pass that you require.
“But some people are reading through that quite quickly and not obtaining the right pass.
“And also we’ve had a few incidents where people have come to the road border or even a flight without any pass
“You must have a pass coming into Queensland.
“Whilst we have been pulling those people aside and assisting them, it obviously takes so much longer when we have to do that.”