Dust off your passports, Queenslanders.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has just confirmed that international borders will finally reopen from 1am, January 22.
It comes as the state is expected to hit the magical 90 per cent double vaccination milestone this week, which has always been the trigger point for the reopening.
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Currently, 91.65 per cent of Queenslanders have had at least one dose of the vaccine, while 88.82% are now fully-vaccinated.
“We made a decision yesterday as part of our COVID task force meeting and we have decided to set a firm date for vaccinated people, international travellers coming into Queensland and we have set that date at 1:00am this Saturday,” the Premier said.
“So if you have family or loved ones, I know a lot of people have sons and daughters overseas or parents or brothers and sisters overseas, this gives clarity to the airlines and incoming travellers that from Saturday, you can come into Queensland and you will no longer have to quarantine if you are vaccinated.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the reopening of the state’s border to those overseas is consistent with other states, adding that she doesn’t believe it will have a big impact on case numbers here.
“If National Cabinet decides to change that down the track, so be it, but we do believe that now is the right time with our vaccination rates so high,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“We want to give some certainty to the industry and for people who are travelling.
“A lot of businesspeople have been wanting to travel overseas for various things, this gives them added certainty to be able to freely book to go overseas and come back and not have to do the 14 days quarantine.”
Travellers will have to do a Rapid Antigen Test within 24 hours of arriving into the sunshine state.
The Premier again singled out the Gold Coast, claiming the city’s vaccination rates are still too low.
“I’ve had a look at our regions and our vaccination rates… People are going to be coming into Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Brisbane is around 93% to 95% vaccinated. That’s fantastic. Cairns is at 94.1% first dose – I should add some parts of Brisbane are over 95%, such as Brisbane East.
“The Gold Coast, however, and I know I keep talking about the Gold Coast but I am concerned… The Gold Coast is still sitting at 90.5%,” she said.
“In terms of where people will be travelling, can I please give an added push for Gold Coast to come out and get vaccinated”.
It comes as Queensland today recorded 19,932 new COVID-19 cases and a further 11 deaths.
One person was aged in their 30s, one was in their 50s, two were in their 60s, one was in their 70s, three were in their 80s and three were in their 90s.
“Of these people, two had not been vaccinated. Seven were double dosed and two had received boosters,” Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said.
“The person in their 30s was not vaccinated”.
There are now 835 people being treated for the virus in hospital, up from 819 yesterday.