“There was a lot of confusion” Health Minister issues apology over PCR test fiasco

The State Government has finally apologised for the confusion surrounding Queensland’s PCR testing requirement.

After weeks of confusion, it was finally confirmed this week that travellers would not have to cough up $150 for a COVID-19 test to enter the sunshine state once borders reopen at 80 per cent double dose.

Instead, the cost will be split 50/50 between both the Federal and State Governments, as it has always been.


The only change is that the Queensalnd Government has now agreed that they will accept a text message as proof of vaccination, rather than a costly certificate.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Steven Miles refused to apologise for the mix-up when questioned by reporters earlier this week, instead blaming it on the Federal Government and media.

However, in a change of heart on Friday, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath apologised for the State’s role in the issue.

“I’m happy to apologise, there was a lot of confusion around this,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We’ve made it clear there isn’t a cost without needing a certificate, we don’t require a certificate.

“A text, which we have always said, a text is suitable… It’s been on our border pass system since it went live at 70 per cent”.

Ms D’Ath said she is “just pleased that people do not have to incur this cost”.

“They can get the PCR test which is absolutely invaluable in stopping this virus from getting into our state,” she said.

“We have answered this every day… I’ve just given you an apology. We have provided clarity, the Commonwealth provided clarity. Now let’s get people vaccinated.”

It comes as Queensland recorded its 14th consecutive day without any new local COVID-19 cases.

That’s after more than 9327 people came forward for testing in the past 24 hours.

In a bid to boost vaccination rates, the State is again hosting another super vaccination weekend, this time targeting Christmas shoppers.

Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and Carrara Markets on the Gold Coast are among those who will be hosting pop-up vaccination clinics tomorrow and Sunday.

A number of schools across Queensland are also taking part, along with the usual state vaccination centres.

As it stands, 85.57 per cent of Queenslanders have now had at least one jab, while 74.93 per cent are fully vaccinated.