Queensland SCRAPS mask mandate as it edges towards Covid vaccine milestone


Queensland SCRAPS mask mandate as it edges towards Covid vaccine milestone – while millions in NSW are still forced to wear face coverings indoors

  • Indoor mask rules in state scrapped when it hits 80 per cent single dose mark
  • Masks no longer be required in schools, cafes and pubs at that coverage level










Queensland will scrap indoor mask rules when the state hits the 80 per cent single-dose vaccination mark this week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced.

Ms Palaszczuk said masks would no longer be needed in venues such as schools, cafes, pubs, hairdressers and workplaces when that Covid vaccination coverage level is reached.

The Queensland premier has flagged the state will reach that milestone by Tuesday.

Residents in NSW meanwhile must still wear a face covering indoors until December 15 or the state hits the 95 per cent double-dose milestone – whichever comes first. 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will scrap indoor mask rules this week when the state hits the 80 per cent single-dose vaccination mark

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will scrap indoor mask rules this week when the state hits the 80 per cent single-dose vaccination mark

The announcement comes after the Sunshine State recorded no new Covid cases on Monday amid concerns about potential exposure at opposite ends of the state.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says no cases emerged after 5879 tests in the past 24 hours to 6.30am on Monday.

‘We’ve had zero new cases today, which is fantastic news, so well done,’ she said.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said it was relieving no new infections had emerged in the far north after a case who triggered a lockdown in the Northern Territory was also infectious in Cairns and Mission Beach two weeks ago.

However, concerns remain about potential exposure at Toowoomba Hospital linked to an outbreak in Goondiwindi in southern Queensland.

Darling Downs Health restricted visitors on Sunday afternoon and Ms D’Ath said limits will remain in place indefinitely.

Queensland Health has also listed two new low risk exposure sites at Brisbane Airport domestic terminal, both on Friday.

As the state approaches the milestone of 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders having a first vaccine dose, businesses and the opposition have been calling for clarity on rules in premises and venues.

The government’s roadmap is for quarantine to be scrapped for fully-vaccinated domestic travellers who test negative once the state reaches 80 per cent.

Queensland recorded no new Covid cases on Monday amid concerns about potential exposure at opposite ends of the state. Pictured: pedestrians are seen wearing masks in the Brisbane CBD on September 28

Queensland recorded no new Covid cases on Monday amid concerns about potential exposure at opposite ends of the state. Pictured: pedestrians are seen wearing masks in the Brisbane CBD on September 28 

Businesses want to know how restrictions such as face masks, density limits and social distancing rules will change.

The health minister said she couldn’t provide more clarity because the virus was so unpredictable, adding that no jurisdiction has been able to do that.

‘There’s been a lot of consultation with business, a lot of consultation with the retail sector, the hospitality tourism sector,’ Ms D’Ath said.

‘We’ll continue to work with them to provide as much clarity as we can, but what we know about this virus is you can only provide so much clarity.’

However, Dr Aitken confirmed authorities were planning specific business and venue rules relating to vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Ms D’Ath said that Doherty Institute modelling and the experiences of other states on the need for lockdowns and quarantine, including for international travellers, will be considered by the government.

Queensland is waiting until 90 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated before quarantine is scrapped for international arrivals, while NSW and Victoria have already done so.

Lockdowns are also less likely in regions where vaccination rates have passed 80 per cent.

‘When we have really high vaccination rates like Goondiwindi we know that we don’t necessarily have to go into a lockdown,’ Ms D’Ath said.

Overall, 67.4 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, and 79.6 per cent have had one dose on Monday. 

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