The Queensland Premier will reopen the state in a week after almost two years of agonising closures – but she snapped over a comment.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has made a massive promise to the thousands of Aussies hoping to holiday in the sunshine state for summer, vowing she would not close the border again.
But she’s not interested in hearing comments about closing the state off to the entire country.
Ms Palaszczuk yesterday announced the state’s hard border with NSW, Victoria and the ACT would come down at 1am on December 13, four days earlier than the previously projected date of December 17.
The state is on the verge of hitting 80 per cent double dose vaccination, which triggered the early mark on border restrictions.
Doing the rounds on breakfast TV this morning, Ms Palaszczuk sought to assure nervous Australians.
“(Australians) should feel confident. Queenslanders have done a great job. We are at the 80 per cent double dose this week. We are sticking with the national plan,” she told ABC News Breakfast.
When asked if there was anything that would trigger border closures again, Ms Palaszczuk said the state was in a very different position to where it had been.
“We are not shutting the border. We believe that we have the right measures in place and we have the high rates of vaccination,” she said.
“It is completely different to a year or two years ago when people didn’t have the vaccination rates as well as they have today. I want everyone to have a good Christmas and I hope we get to see you in our beautiful state soon.”
The premier hit back at one question from Today host Sylvia Jeffreys, when the journalist asked for a guarantee from Ms Palaszczuk.
“After 251 days of hard border closures can you guarantee now that this is the end and you are open now for good?” Jeffreys said.
“Well we hope so and we’ve been open to most of the states and territories except for NSW, Victoria and the ACT,” the premier replied.
“I think the rest of Australia forgets that when you’re living in Sydney and Melbourne.”
Ms Palaszczuk also told Sunrise she was “very confident” borders would stay open.
“In NSW and Victoria, the vaccination rates are over 90 per cent, we are heading towards 90 per cent,” she said.
“I think the entirety of Australia is in this unique situation where we have so much of our population vaccinated. I think it’s pretty unique in the world so it will be interesting to see how the next few months go as all the states and territories open up.
“This is about reuniting families for Christmas … I know how important this reopening is.”
To enter Queensland from December 13, interstate Australians will need to clear a number of hurdles.
“Fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots can arrive by road or air,” Ms Palaszczuk said yesterday.
“You must have a negative Covid test in the previous 72 hours. No quarantine is required if you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must arrive by air only and hotel quarantine for 14 days.”
All arrivals from domestic hotspots – which includes NSW, Victoria, the ACT, Greater Adelaide and the Katherine region in the NT – must also get a Covid test on day five in Queensland.
“There’ll be penalties applying if you don’t do that,” the premier warned yesterday.
And anyone entering Queensland, regardless of if they’re coming from a hotspot or not, must apply for a Queensland entry pass.
Currently, more than 78 per cent of Queenslanders have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus with the state expected to tick over to 79 per cent double dose today.