Queensland will scrap isolation rules for close contacts of COVID cases from 6pm next Thursday while unvaccinated international travellers will be free to enter the state without quarantining.
The state government today confirmed it will follow New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT in abolishing the close contact rule.
Acting Premier Steven Miles says this is another major step out of the pandemic.
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“This is one of the last restrictions impacting on our community and our economy. We know it’s having an effect on businesses, on schools, on, indeed, the health system. It will allow us to get more people back to work,” Mr Miles said.
People will need to still wear masks in indoor areas and return a negative rapid test every two days.
They will also be banned from visiting vulnerable settings including hospitals and aged care facilities for seven days.
Close contacts who have symptoms but test negative will be asked to remain at home.
“The single most important thing to note is that if you are a household contact of a person with COVID-19 and you develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, you must assume you have COVID-19,” Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said.
“You must isolate immediately at home, get tested, and remain isolated, at least until your symptoms have resolved or seven days.”
Queensland recorded 8,080 new COVID cases reported today along with five deaths, while public hospital admissions have fallen to 467.
Health Minister Yvette D’ath has warned that cases are likely to rise when isolation rules are eased.
“It will mean, by people going out into the community, back into their workplace while they are a close contact, there is greater risk that they will become positive and spread that to other people,” Ms D’ath said.
“So it is more important than ever that people, whether they are in a household with a positive place or not, be watching for symptoms and getting themselves tested and staying home.”
Unvaccinated international travellers will now only need to provide a negative test before arriving in Queensland from next Thursday.
But the Acting Premier has rejected claims it has rendered the Wellcamp quarantine facility in Toowoomba a ‘white elephant’.
“The governance board, who are responsible for determining how our entire quarantine system works, including Wellcamp, will now assess how this change of policy settings affects their mix of accommodation needs,” Mr Miles said.
“There are currently 87 people at Wellcamp. Most of the recent usage has been for those who test positive aren’t sick enough to require hospital care, but do require appropriate accommodation.”
The state government has a 12 month lease on the Wellcamp facility.
More to come.