Australia

Queensland on alert after aviation worker tests positive to COVID-19

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A public health alert has been issued for exposure sites including a McDonalds in Albany Creek, a childcare centre in Eatons Hill, and stores in Rocklea and Aspley. 

The case comes after Queensland earlier reported zero new cases of COVID-19 for Monday and the chief health officer said people should “prepare and hope” for the state’s borders to reopen in time for Christmas.

But Jeannette Young could not say whether reaching coverage of 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will trigger an automatic reopening of the state’s borders before 25 December.

The state borders have been closed to most of NSW since 21 July, to Greater Sydney since 22 June, regional Victoria since 17 July and Melbourne since 28 May.

Hundreds of Queensland residents and people trying to move to the region have been stuck in limbo interstate for months.

The Queensland government has consistently side-stepped questions about whether the borders will reopen to Victoria and NSW before Christmas.

Dr Young raised hopes hard borders could come down before the festive period, saying businesses should start getting ready.

“Of course, yes, we should all prepare and hope and get everyone vaccinated,” she told reporters on Monday.

“That’s the most important thing business can do – to be out there saying, ‘Just get vaccinated’, because the more people who are vaccinated, the more likely we can remove those last remaining restrictions.”

Borders are not specifically mentioned under the national reopening plan, however some states have committed to quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated people once coverage reaches 80 per cent.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was non-committal on a date for reopening, saying she was waiting to see new modelling at national cabinet on Friday.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing that this week,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had sympathy for people stuck interstate and overseas, but Queensland borders were closed to contain and suppress COVID-19 in NSW and Victoria.

“It’s a very tough situation,” she said. “I just spoke to a gentleman this morning and his parents can’t come up for his daughter’s wedding, his daughter is getting married on the weekend.

“It is very tough circumstances at the moment and that’s because New South Wales is in lockdown.”

Queensland reported 5,922 tests in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Monday.

There are 13 active cases in the state.

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