Coronavirus Australia: Queensland reveals plan to reopen for Christmas

AAP & staff writersThe West Australian
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuksays has released a plan to reopen the state by Christmas.
Camera IconQueensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuksays has released a plan to reopen the state by Christmas. Credit: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Queensland has released its plan to begin reopening its borders, but everything will depend on people turning out to get vaccinated.

It’s expected that 70 per cent of eligible Queenslanders will be fully vaccinated by November 19, and possibly sooner.

When that happens, interstate arrivals will be allowed in under strict conditions.

Those seeking to enter Queensland will have to be fully vaccinated, arrive by air, and have returned a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours. They must also commit to 14 days in home quarantine.

Those restrictions will ease when 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated. That’s expected to happen on December 17, or before.

When that happens, interstate arrivals will be allowed for fully vaccinated people by road and by air, without any requirement to quarantine. But arrivals must have returned a negative test in the previous 72 hours.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said those dates would be brought forward if the state hit the 70 and 80 per cent vaccination targets earlier.

There were no new cases of the virus reported on Monday.


Victoria has reported 1903 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and seven deaths, as Melbourne prepares for an early exit from its long-running sixth lockdown

The health department confirmed the state now has 22,327 active cases.

There were 69,825 tests processed and 32,405 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs on Sunday.

The new deaths take the toll from the current outbreak to 152.

It comes as Melbourne readies to emerge from lockdown and Victoria is poised to scrap hotel quarantine for international travellers fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, Premier Daniel Andrews says the state will not follow NSW in abolishing all quarantine requirements for double-dosed international arrivals from November 1.

Instead, he has foreshadowed travellers who have had both shots will be able to isolate at home for fewer than 14 days.

“It will be less,” he told Seven’s Sunrise on Monday.

“If you are double-dose vaccinated, you will be able to quarantine at home and hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past.”

The premier has also confirmed Victoria will not lock down the entire state in future and instead opt for targeted restrictions in “very narrow circumstances”.

“What we are moving away from is instead of locking people down, we are locking people out,” he said.

“If you are not double-dose vaccinated, you won’t be able to go to the pub.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media.
Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Phones will be running hot for pubs, hairdressers and restaurants on Monday as fully vaccinated Melburnians race for a taste of freedom.

From 11.59pm on Thursday, all restrictions for leaving home will be dumped along with the city’s nightly curfew as lockdown ends five days earlier than previously planned in line with the state reaching its 70 per cent double-dose vaccination target.

Up to 10 visitors will be allowed in a home per day, but retail and gyms in metropolitan Melbourne have to remain closed.

Hairdressing and beauty salons can open for up to five fully vaccinated people at a time, while pubs, clubs and entertainment venues will be able to host 20 fully vaccinated customers indoors and 50 outdoors.

Isolation orders for fully vaccinated non-household primary close contacts will also be halved from 14 days to seven.

Restrictions are slated to ease further when 80 per cent of the eligible population has received both vaccine doses, forecast by some data analysts to be as early as October 31.


NSW has reported 265 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and five deaths, as thousands of children head back to school and more restrictions are eased for fully vaccinated adults.

There are 606 people in NSW hospitals with COVID and 132 in intensive care.

More than 80 per cent of people over 16 are now fully vaccinated in NSW, which on Monday triggered a promised second stage easing of restrictions as the state continues to emerge from nearly four months of lockdown.

A week after stay-at-home orders were lifted and fully vaccinated people were allowed back at NSW pubs and beauty salons, people who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are now free to play community sport and have a dance at the pub.

Nearly 150,000 students in years 12 and one, as well as kindergarten kids, are returning to classrooms, after nearly four months of home schooling while other grades return next week.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says teachers are ready to welcome children back but it’s recommended they wear masks indoors until restrictions ease further.

“It’s a good day. It’s wonderful we have students in the back in the classroom,“ she told Nine Network on Monday.

When a COVID-19 case is identified in a school it usually closes for about a day for cleaning and contact tracing.

But Ms Mitchell says each situation will be now be considered on a case-by-case basis to minimise disruption.

“If it is a kindergarten child and a few kids in the class who are impacted it might be that year group has to stay-at-home for 14 days,” she said.

“If the teacher is fully vaccinated they won’t for instance.”

Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 fully vaccinated people are now permitted, and up to 20 visitors are allowed in a home, provided everyone over the age of 16 is vaccinated.

NSW residents can once again stand up while drinking and even have a dance in most hospitality venues, but not yet in nightclubs, which are allowed to reopen so long as people sit down while they drink and don’t dance.

There’s no limit on weddings and funerals and the five-person cap at hairdressers and beauticians is also gone.

Office workers are no longer required to wear masks at work, but they’re still required in other indoor areas such as on public transport or in a retail shop.

NSW Customer Services Minister Victor Dominello stressed the new freedoms were only for the fully vaccinated but will be expanded to the unvaccinated in December.

“If you are unvaccinated or have only got one dose the old restrictions still apply,” he said.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said a special tribute to frontline workers and those who have been vaccinated will be projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House on Monday night.

“The Sydney Opera House sails will come alive with reminders of the people who have kept us safe, either through their work or by simply rolling up their sleeve and getting the jab,” Mr Perrottet said.

NSW had “a bright summer ahead” but “this is not going to be an easy time”.

“As we know, as we open up, cases will increase. Hospitalisations will increase ... I am confident that as a state we will come together and get through it,“ the premier said.


The ACT has recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19, as senior school students returned to the classroom.

Of the locally acquired cases reported on Monday, 11 were linked to known cases or clusters.

There are now 17 patients in hospital with COVID-19, nine of whom are in intensive care.

ACT health authorities say there are now 441 active cases in the community.

Testing numbers remained relatively low, with 1578 tests in the past day.

It comes after ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said on the weekend she was concerned about a drop in testing rates.

“While the risk is lower, it is important everyone remembers that even if fully vaccinated, you can still contract COVID-19 and pass it on to others, especially to those who are unvaccinated,” she said.

The ACT’s double-dose rate for people aged 12 and over is 79.5 per cent.

Monday also marks the return to the classroom for all year 11 and 12 students.

It’s the first part of a staged return to in-person learning, with early childhood, preschool to year two, as well as years six, nine and 10 going back to the classroom from October 25.


Tasmania’s premier insists a three-day lockdown of the state’s south was warranted, as it wraps up on time following no evidence of onward transmission from an infected hotel quarantine escapee.

Peter Gutwein has confirmed the three-day lockdown of Hobart and southern Tasmania will end at 6pm on Monday after the state reported no new cases from more than 1400 tests.

But masks will remain mandatory indoors and outdoors for those 12 and over until at least 6pm on Friday, along with rules for aged care facilities and hospitals.

“We are snapping back to where we were apart from those restrictions,” Mr Gutwein told reporters on Monday.

The island state’s south region was plunged into a 72-hour stint of stay-at-home restrictions on Friday evening after an infected NSW man escaped from the Hobart Travelodge and spent about 18 hours at large.

The 31-year-old, who flew from Melbourne to Hobart last week without a valid border pass and was ordered into quarantine, was unco-operative with contact tracers and the uncertainty surrounding his movements led to Mr Gutwein enacting the snap lockdown.

Despite no cases being linked to contacts of the infected man, including about 120 from a Woolworths supermarket, the premier was adamant the lockdown was necessary.


VIC - 1903 new local cases, seven deaths

NSW - 265 new local cases, five deaths

QLD - zero new local cases

ACT - 17 new local cases

WA - zero new local cases

SA - zero new local cases



Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails