Qld scraps day five test, cases pass 1000

Robyn Wuth |

Queensland has scrapped the controversial day five PCR tests for interstate visitors as COVID-19 case numbers surge past 1000 for the first time since the pandemic began. 

Infections soared to 1158 on Tuesday, with the number of active cases rising to 4779 and 257 Omicron cases recorded. 

Only six people have been admitted to the hospital, with none in intensive care. 

The number of new cases was significantly higher than the 784 reported on Monday, and came after Queenslanders were repeatedly warned infection numbers were set to increase. 

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath announced the change to the day five tests, telling tourists in line at testing centres across the state to walk away. 

She said of the tens of thousands of travellers who have crossed across state lines since the border re-opened, only 0.6 per cent have recorded a positive test in the day five test. 

“The Chief Health Officer advised us that we no longer need to continue these tests,” Ms D’Ath said.  

“Anyone who is waiting in lines now for the day five test can they will not be required to get a day five tests from now. 

“We thank everyone for doing the right thing – we have made sure we’ve done this in a safe and responsible way but from now, that no longer applies.”

People entering into Queensland will still require border passes.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said scrapping the tests will allow Queensland Health resources to be “better used” elsewhere.

“The positivity rate in the second test taken on day five has proven to be extremely low, remembering that all of these people will have received a negative test prior to crossing the border,” Dr Gerrard said. 

“I believe that performing the day five test is unnecessary added these resources are better used elsewhere to test people with symptoms and for other reasons.”