Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has backflipped on the date when vaccine passports will come into effect in the state, allowing the unvaccinated three more weeks to attend pubs and restaurants.
The requirement for Queenslanders to be fully vaccinated to enter a range of venues was expected to come into effect when the state reached 80 per cent of its eligible population with two doses of a Covid vaccine.
Originally forecast as December 17, the date the threshold is expected to be reached is now around December 6.
The earlier date meant it was feared the unvaccinated would be stripped of their freedoms sooner than expected.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has backflipped on the date when vaccine passports will come into effect in the state, allowing the unvaccinated three more weeks to attend venues
But on Tuesday night, Queensland tourism minister Stirling Hinchcliffe confirmed on unjabbed Queenslanders won’t be banned from venues until December 17 at the earliest.
‘The Queensland Government recently announced a number of measures that would require all staff and patrons to be vaccinated at a range of businesses and venues,’ his statement read.
‘It is important to note that, regardless of how early Queensland may hit the 80 per cent double dose vaccination rate, these measures will commence from December 17.
‘This provides important certainty so businesses and staff can plan accordingly.’
Ms Palaszczuk had recently announced Queenslanders who refuse to get the jab will be banned from a wide range of venues from December 17 or when the state reaches the 80 per cent double dose target as its prepares to reopen to Covid-19 hotspots.
They include hospitality venues, indoor entertainment venues, outdoor entertainment activities, sporting stadiums or theme parks, festivals, galleries, museums or libraries.
On Wednesday, Deputy Premier Steven Miles confirmed December 17 as the date the mandate allowing only vaccinated people to attend venues would come into effect after feedback from the business community seeking certainty.
‘We are confirming this date is December 17,’ he said.
‘While the border opening is when we achieve 80 per cent, and that may well be sooner, the mandates for vaccinated and unvaccinated will come into effect on December 17.’
The latest figures show 85.01 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had one vaccine dose and 74.07 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Mr Miles returned fire on Federal health minister Greg Hunt over the issue of who would pay for the PCR tests Queensland requires for entry of visitors from interstate hotspots.
‘We called on the Commonwealth to set the record straight. We don’t provide tests for people in New South Wales, for people in Victoria,’ Mr Miles claimed.
‘We said we would continue to do those tests in Queensland for people travelling to other states. It was up to the Commonwealth.’