Politics

Mask mandate to end with 80 per cent vaccination today


A raft of freedoms are on the horizon for fully vaccinated Queenslanders as the state’s mask mandate could come to an end today.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted this morning that when she state passes 80 per cent first doses face coverings won’t be mandatory.
“Masks will no longer be required when 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” she wrote.
Queenslanders will soon no longer be required to wear face masks. (Getty)

“That means no masks indoors including schools, cafés, pubs, clubs, hairdressers and workplaces.”

As of yesterday, 79.5 per cent of Queenslanders had received at least one jab.

A total of 67.1 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

Current vaccination rates could also see the state’s borders re-open to fully vaccinated Australians ahead of schedule.

Ms Palaszczuk also announced plans for the state once 80 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.

All COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for clubs, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, stadiums and music festivals in Queensland at this point.

The 80 per cent milestone is expected to be reached by December 17.

“Only the vaccinated will be allowed to visit our hospitals except in end-of-life or emergency situations,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (9News)

There will be no COVID restrictions on weddings provided all the guests are fully vaccinated, under the new rules introduced in Queensland.

Only the fully vaccinated will be allowed to attend sporting matches at stadiums, including the Big Bash and One Day International Cricket, the AFL and the NRL.

Visitors to hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability services will be required to be fully vaccinated as well.

Exemptions will apply for visitors in end-of-life, emergency and childbirth situations in hospitals.

Proof of vaccination in venues will be enforced by police.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the rules would be in place with borders opening soon.

“We will have people on planes right across Queensland who could be carrying the virus from Victoria or New South Wales,” she said.

Thousands of people looking to return home to Queensland are stuck in NSW. (9News)

The border re-opening had been set for December 17, in line with predictions of when the state would reach 80 per cent full vaccination.

However, new modelling from this morning shows that if current rates are maintained, Queensland could hit that mark up to 10 days earlier, on December 7.

Ms Palaszczuk has said if the crucial goal is reached early, she won’t hesitate to re-open the border.

Any kind of reprieve would come as welcome news to thousands of people currently trapped on the wrong side of the border in New South Wales.

People unable to return home to Queensland have been forced to take up residence in holiday parks, camps, and even sleep in their cars as the border remains closed.

Tweed Holiday Park owner Angela Hodge said she had about 30 people currently in the park who were unable to cross the border.

“A lot of people are desperate to get home, get back to Queensland,” she told Today.

She predicted a very dire travel situation on December 17 – or whenever the border opened.

“They do need to come up with some sort of roadmap for people that are residents in Queensland, or people like I said, that have bought homes there,” Ms Hodge said.

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“They should be able to get through a bit earlier, I think, just so you wouldn’t want to be travelling on that day.”



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