Home | News | Vaccination surge could open Queensland border by Christmas, Victorian road map revealed
Logan Vaccination Hub at the Logan Entertainment Centre, Sunday 19th September 2021. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Vaccination surge could open Queensland border by Christmas, Victorian road map revealed

Queensland’s hard border with NSW and Victoria could be removed by Christmas after a record number of people were vaccinated over the weekend.

More than 56,000 people rolled up their sleeves during the state’s Super Pfizer Weekend, with more still to be counted.

The total number is expected to push the amount of eligible Queenslanders who have had their first jab to more than 60 per cent.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged residents to continue to come forward and get vaccinated so border rules could finally be relaxed.

“We all hope that we can see our relatives and friends at Christmas time,” she said.

“That’s going to depend on people getting vaccinated.”

National Cabinet has agreed in principle to removing restrictions once 80 per cent of eligible people are fully vaccinated.

Palaszczuk said the Doherty Institute was currently reviewing its original roadmap.

“I think everyone’s comfortable with 80 per cent but the Doherty plan might say higher,” she said.

“[Chief health officer] Dr Young has said up to 90 per cent [is what] we’d like to see.”

More than 40 per cent of Queenslanders had been fully vaccinated as of Saturday.

With that number expected to climb again on Monday, the state could leapfrog some of its counterparts in other parts of the country.

The ACT is still leading the way, with more than 55 per cent of its eligible population protected against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, in Delta-ravaged NSW, more than 52 per cent of people have received both doses of the vaccine.

“Come on Qld,” Palaszczuk said.

“We can’t keep this virus out forever.”

The restrictions Victoria won’t ease at 80 per cent vaccinated

Victoria’s much anticipated road map to freedom out of Covid-19 lockdown has finally been unveiled, with the state’s sixth shutdown to continue until 70 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Premier Dan Andrews said that was likely to be around October 26, with those fully vaccinated to gain more freedoms than those who aren’t.

Once Victoria hits 80 per cent of people aged 16 and older fully vaccinated – predicted to be around November 5 – most of the remaining restrictions will be eased in line with density limits.

However, there are some rules Andrews said must remain in place even after 80 per cent of Victorians are double vaxxed in order to “preserve our health system and ensure Victorians can still get the healthcare they need”.

The premier said there was no alternative to the slow and staggered opening up plan and flagged the “acute stress” it would place on the health system if done too quickly.

“While we’re no longer aiming for Covid zero, it’s imperative we don’t jeopardise our health system as we open up – too many Victorians rely on it every day,” the Premier said.

At 80 per cent fully vaccinated, Victorians will still be required to wear masks indoors at all times, including at work.

Private gatherings at home will be permitted but limited to 10 people only, including children. This limit will increase to 30 visitors to the home for Christmas.

Public gatherings will be allowed for up to 30 fully vaccinated people, but only five for those who aren’t.

Only those who are fully vaccinated will be able to go to work, with Victorians still encouraged to work from home if they can.

The same applies for non-practical adult education with only those with two doses of the vaccine allowed on campus.

Those who aren’t vaccinated will also be unable to attend religious services indoors, and must practice their faith outdoors, in groups capped at 20.

Hospitality food and drink businesses, karaoke venues and nightclubs will only be able to operate seated service.

Food courts will remain closed with takeaway only allowed, and customers will not be allowed to remove their masks indoors to consume food or drinks.

Weddings and funerals will be capped at 150 people indoors and 500 outdoors for those where all guests are double jabbed, while unvaccinated funerals will be limited to 20 people and weddings 10.

Holidays will also have to occur in a “bubble”, where households nominate another to go on vacation with.

The road map announcement brings Victoria in line with NSW as the second Australian state to plan a significant relaxation of restrictions even as Covid continues to circulate in the community.

“Lockdowns have been about buying time to get to 70 and 80 per cent vaccination,” Andrews said.

“We are fast approaching those milestones. At that point we have got to open the place up, because remaining closed forever has its own cost, in every sense of that word.”

There are now 5262 active cases in Victoria.

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