ACT reaches 80% fully vaccinated while Queensland eyes Christmas border opening

By Jackson Graham

Tuesday October 19, 2021

Annastacia Palaszczuk
The ACT will reveal what a further relaxation of restrictions could look like after reaching 80%, while QLD’s border will open only just before Christmas.  (AAP Image/Darren England)

The ACT is set to reveal what a further relaxation of restrictions could look like after reaching its 80% vaccination target, while Queensland’s border will open only just before Christmas. 

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr foreshadowed further clarity on the territory’s pathway forward would come Tuesday after reaching the 80% double-dose threshold on Monday.

Health minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said reaching the target was a “fantastic achievement for the Canberra community” but said there were pockets of the population, especially younger people, who remained unvaccinated. 

“People under 40 in particular who are the most likely people to be moving around and come into contact with multiple groups of people through work, through their social life — those are the people who are least likely to hit that 80%,” she said. 

“We still have tens of thousands of people who need to get their second dose to be vaccinated. 

That is why we are continuing to encourage Canberrans to be cautious as we reopen.”

She said the cabinet would discuss what restrictions could be eased with the chief health officer on Monday afternoon. 

The ACT’s pathway forward roadmap earmarks the next changes for October 29.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday revealed the state’s borders would open to fully vaccinated people from states with COVID-19 spreading a week before Christmas. 

She said 80% of Queenslanders were expected to be fully vaccinated by December 17, when fully vaccinated people will be allowed into the state foregoing home quarantine. 

From November 19, fully vaccinated people from states and territories deemed “COVID hotspots” can travel by air provided they have had a negative test within 72 hours and do 14 days of home quarantine. 

“I think Queenslanders would acknowledge that that is a sensible and cautious approach to ensure families can be reunited but the people coming into Queensland will have to be fully vaccinated,” Palaszczuk said. 

“The faster we are vaccinated the faster these deadlines will be achieved. It does mean some of those dates may come forward if we get the vaccination dates up.”

Meanwhile, Victoria is approaching its lockdown ending at 11.59pm on Thursday when the state should hit its 70% double-dose milestone. 

The state should reach its 80% target at the start of November.


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