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Queensland hits 80% fully vaccinated target, prepares for border reopening

Queensland has hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated, joining South Australia and Tasmania as one of the first jurisdictions in the world to hit the milestone without an active COVID-19 outbreak.

Queensland has hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated, joining South Australia and Tasmania as one of the first jurisdictions in the world to hit the milestone without an active COVID-19 outbreak.

The state was closing in on its target earlier this week with 79.6 per cent of Queenslanders aged over 16 fully vaccinated and 87.7 per cent having had one dose by Tuesday.

PM Scott Morrison revealed on Thursday that both Queensland and the Northern Territory reached the 80 per cent milestone on Wednesday.

“Well done to Queensland and the NT! Confirming you’ve officially hit 80% double dose vaccination, the target in our National Plan,” he tweeted on Thursday morning.

“Thank you to everyone who got their jab.

“Please get your booster if you’re due and help Australia continue to safely reopen and stay safely open.”

Queensland hit the milestone five days before it reopens its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from domestic virus hotspots who test negative.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a great achievement to reach 80 per cent without an active COVID-19 outbreak.

“This is a great day for Queensland,” she told AAP in the statement.

“Very few places in the world have got to this level of protection BEFORE a COVID wave arrives.

“The credit for this belongs to each and every Queenslander.

“But we can’t stop here: let’s get to 90 per cent and beyond. Please, get vaccinated.”

Despite hitting the milestone there is still concern about vaccine hesitancy among a significant portion of the state’s population under the age of 40.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said on Wednesday that almost 95 per cent of people over 70 were fully vaccinated, and for the 50-plus age group, the figure is almost 90 per cent.

“It really is our 20- to 39-year-olds where we have a larger proportion who are still not vaccinated for one dose,” Ms D’Ath said.

How can you cross the Queensland border from 13 December?

Whitsundays_Queensland
The Whitsundays, Queensland

To enter Queensland once the border opens, travellers from COVID-19 hotspots via air or road must be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative PCR test taken within three days of their arrival.

PCR tests are free and can be completed at Australia-wide testing centres. You will only need to show your text result to enter Queensland.

Those coming from domestic hotspots must also get another COVID-19 test on day five of their arrival, but only have to wait one week from when they receive their second vaccination dose before entering the state.

The target also means changes for Queensland’s NSW border zone, with vaccinated residents travelling only needing a valid pass.

Border passes will be valid for 14 days, but a negative test won’t be required.

“That includes people in Queensland being able to go into the border zone for a day trip or to visit family and friends, they would need a border pass but they only need to be fully vaccinated, they won’t need a PCR test,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

However, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has warned of lengthy delays for motorists once border restrictions eased, expecting “tens of thousands” to enter the state from Monday.

“We are expecting extensive delays. I need everyone to plan ahead and pack their patience,” she said.

Every vehicle entering the state will be scanned by police and Ms Carroll said motorists could help ease delays by having a clearly displayed border pass and travel outside peak hours.

Via AAP