Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland border reopening: major Christmas blunder on day five of testing

Queensland’s requirement that travelers arriving from interstate hotspots take a Covid test after five days in the state claims this will be impossible during the holiday season.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk have come under fire for the demand, with several commentators claiming it won’t be practical for visitors to take a test over Christmas.

Ms D’Ath tried to flush out the growing controversy on Tuesday, saying she would amend health guidelines.

“If you are unable to pass a test on that particular day because the test is not available, we will ensure that the instruction allows that person to pass that test shortly before or shortly after to still meet that requirement,” he said. Mrs D’Ath .

“If they are stuck on an island where no testing capacity is available, the goal would be, by the time they leave the island, or are about to go to the island and pass the test on day three before they leave.” .’

Under the Public Health Directive, fines will apply to those who fail the second PCR test, but Ms D’Ath downplayed the punitive aspects of the new policy.

“This isn’t about using a stick and going in and fining people, this is about people doing the right thing,” she said.

All travelers who test positive will be asked to follow instructions from the public health unit to isolate or be moved to inpatient care, depending on their location and disease level, she said.

Two key requirements for those coming to Queensland from the designated hotspots from Monday 13 December are the need to produce a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival and a second test is then required within five days of arrival in the stands

Under the Public Health Directive, fines apply to travelers to Queensland who fail to take the second PCR test

Under the Public Health Directive, fines apply to travelers to Queensland who fail to take the second PCR test

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk took a dig at the 'Fortress Queensland' image on the Today Show this morning when she said the state was 'open to most states and territories except NSW, Victoria and the ACT'

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk took a dig at the ‘Fortress Queensland’ image on the Today Show this morning when she said the state was ‘open to most states and territories except NSW, Victoria and the ACT’

The change in testing policy comes after Queensland PRemier Annastacia Palaszczuk took a dig at the ‘Fortress Queensland’ image on the Today Show this morning.

huhost Sylvia Jeffreys asked Ms. Palaszczuk if she could now guarantee that the state would remain open ‘forever’.

“Well, we hope so and we are open to most states and territories except NSW, Victoria and the ACT,” Ms Palaszczuk replied.

“I think the rest of Australia forgets that if you live in Sydney and Melbourne.”

Ms Palaszczuk announced yesterday that visitors from NSW, Victoria and the ACT could travel to the state from 1am, four days ahead of schedule, on December 13.

The earlier date was made possible by reaching the milestone of 80 percent of the eligible population being fully vaccinated this week.

Two key requirements for those coming to Queensland from declared hotspots are the need to produce a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival.

A second test is then required within five days of arriving in the state.

The test applies to individuals 16 years of age and older, with children under that age only being tested if they are symptomatic.

But many have wondered how people can access the test on holidays after the Christmas and New Year period.

For example, travelers who arrive in the state on December 20 must be retested on Christmas Day December 25.

In a statement to the Daily Mail Australia, Queensland Health said testing facilities will be available despite closures on public holidays.

“Over the Christmas period, many hospital and health services have plans to ensure that existing fever clinics are open and available to the public should anyone need to be tested,” it said.

“Our health services remain ready and can move with the demand.

‘There are also test clinics in the business world.’

The locations of the testing clinics are available on the Queensland Health website.

Ms D’Ath said the government is “monitoring” their testing capacity at private health clinics during the holiday season.

Queensland's Health Minister Yvette D'Ath announced new fines for those who intentionally spit, cough or sneeze on workers on sites requiring all customers and staff to be fully vaccinated from December 17

Queensland’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath announced new fines for those who intentionally spit, cough or sneeze on workers on sites requiring all customers and staff to be fully vaccinated from December 17

Visitors from NSW, Victoria and the ACT will be able to travel back to Queensland from 01:00am on December 13, four days ahead of schedule

Visitors from NSW, Victoria and the ACT will be able to travel back to Queensland from 01:00am on December 13, four days ahead of schedule

Ms D’Ath also announced new fines for those who intentionally spit, cough or sneeze on employees at sites requiring all customers and staff to be fully vaccinated by December 17.

A fine of $1378 will be issued on the spot for the violation, or a fine of up to $13,785 and six months in prison if police decide to prosecute through the courts.

“Last April, we extended the offense of intentionally spitting, coughing or sneezing on people to store employees because we know they saw horrendous behavior when they were just trying to do their job and serve the community.” said Mrs. D’Ath.

The move follows concerns from companies that their frontline staff will be the victims of compliance with the mandatory vaccination guideline.

All unvaccinated people in the state will be banned from locations such as restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, theaters, movie theaters and sports venues from December 17.

Government-run facilities such as museums and galleries will also require visitors to be vaccinated.

Public transport, GP practices, supermarkets and places of worship do not require visitors to be vaccinated.

There are no capacity restrictions for companies that allow fully vaccinated people to visit their sites.

Queensland registered a new case of community covid transmission on Tuesday, a man on the Gold Coast who health authorities say may be the cause of the city’s cluster of four cases.

The man has been contagious in the community between December 2 and 4. He is believed to have traveled from NSW.

Queensland now has 7.3 percent of people on a first dose and 78.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

It is expected that 80 percent of the eligible population will receive a double dose this week.

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