Qld eases border test restrictions

Robyn Wuth |

People entering Qld no longer need a PCR test, with negatives from Rapid Antigen Tests now accepted.
People entering Qld no longer need a PCR test, with negatives from Rapid Antigen Tests now accepted.

Taking a trip to the Sunshine State just got a little bit easier as Queensland eased COVID-19 travel testing restrictions. 

From January 1 travellers with a negative result from either a PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test will be given the green light to cross the border. 

“The Chief Health Officer is satisfied that a negative result using a Rapid Antigen Test is sufficient for interstate arrivals,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced this week. 

Travellers will still need to complete a border declaration confirming that they have completed a negative test. 

Anyone caught making false declarations faces heavy fines if caught by authorities. 

The move comes as Queensland comes to terms with the reality of living with COVID-19. 

COVID-19 numbers in Queensland on Friday surged to 3118 new infections for the final day of 2021 as revellers with any symptoms were warned to stay at home.

The number of active cases rose to 11,697 after 35,215 people underwent testing in the most recent 24-hour reporting period.

Despite the rapidly rising infection rate, only one patient – a man in his 50s – is undergoing treatment in intensive care.

The man’s condition is stable, and he is not on a ventilator, Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said on Friday.

“It reminds us that even if you’re vaccinated, it is possible to get quite sick with COVID-19,” Dr Gerrard said.

“It does happen – we’ve known this all along.”

The chief health officer warned infection rates would continue to rise with another wave of the virus predicted.

“We are likely to see a substantial wave earlier than we projected.

“Most of us expected this to occur maybe May-June when it was getting cooler, so maybe that’s what will bring the whole event a little bit further forward.

“Whether we’ll have further waves of infection – that’s what we don’t know.

“Will it be another wave in the winter? That’s what we don’t know – if there’s another strain.”  

Queensland on Friday edged up to 90.7 per cent of people having received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to federal government data.

The number of fully vaccinated eligible Queensland residents aged over 16, rose slightly to 86.6 per cent.