The road back to normal for Queensland has been unveiled today – but only for the vaccinated.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a raft of new freedoms and rule changes this morning that will take effect from December 17, or when the state reaches 80 per cent double-dose vaccination levels.
Here’s what you need to know.
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What is changing?
From December 17, pubs, clubs, nightclubs and music venues will be free of all COVID-19 restrictions, provided all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.
From the same date, vaccination mandates will also apply for staff and patrons at sporting events and other occasions at government-run stadiums including Suncorp Stadium, the Gabba, Queensland Country Bank and Metricon.
The same measures will apply for entertainment venues, karaoke bars, government-run museums and galleries, and music festivals, whether indoor or outdoor.
There will be no restrictions on weddings as long as everybody attending is fully vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk said the measures were a “reward” for vaccinated Queenslanders.
What about aged care and hospitals?
Vaccination restrictions will also be in place for health and aged care venues.
Visitors to aged care, hospitals, prisons and disability services sites must be fully vaccinated, except in end-of-life, emergency, or childbirth situations.
Are borders still re-opening then too?
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.
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.
But at today’s press conference, she said if the target was reached early, it was likely to only be a couple days beforehand.
Ms Palaszczuk said the changes announced today would protect Queenslanders once the Delta variant entered the state as travellers entered.
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.
Who exactly needs to be vaccinated?
The new restrictions apply to everybody aged 16 and over.
Children aged 12 to 15 do not have to be vaccinated to enter such venues, but Ms Palaszczuk said they were strongly encouraged to get the jab.
As soon as somebody has had their second vaccine, they will be considered fully vaccinated, though health advice has been that the vaccines take two weeks since injection to provide full protection.
How is this going to be enforced?
People arriving at venues will have to show their check-in app.
Ms Palaszczuk said by the middle of this month, it was expected that the app would also be able to display the person’s vaccination status.
But Queenslanders looking to dodge the system have been warned that police will be cracking down and enforcing requirements.
Venues will be encouraged to contact police if they see a breach.