Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate and restrictions to be relaxed further

Queensland will remove some of its last remaining COVID-19 restrictions from next week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that from 1am on June 30, COVID-19 vaccinations would no longer be required for visitors to residential aged care, disability accommodation or prisons.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard will also revoke the high-risk worker COVID-19 vaccine mandate in schools, early childhood education, outside school care, kindergartens, family day care, police watch houses, youth detention centres and airports.

Decisions around mandatory vaccinations in those setting will instead be made by employers.

“Mandatory vaccines are still required for workers in healthcare, hospitals, aged care and disability care,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The Premier said the public direction requiring post-arrival testing for those travelling to Queensland from international locations had been removed.

She did not mention any changes to mask mandates in settings such as public transport and aged care.

“Queensland has remained strong,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Restrictions that protected us have eased in sensible stages.

“I once again pay tribute to the resilience of Queenslanders for the strength of response to this pandemic.”

There were six COVID-19 deaths in the latest reporting period, taking the number of people who have died as a result of the virus in Queensland to 1,192.

The state recorded 4,520 new COVID cases, with 522 people in hospital with the virus. There are seven people in ICU.

Ms Palaszczuk urged Queenslanders to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and to get a free flu vaccine before June 30.

Mandatory vaccines are still required for workers in healthcare, hospitals, aged care and disability care.(ABC News: Kimberley Bernard)

More than 92 per cent of the Queensland population aged 16 and older have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and 71.11 per cent of those aged 12 to 15.

Among Queensland five to 11-year-olds, 31.16 per cent have received two COVID-19 shots.

More than 1.7 million Queenslanders have been vaccinated against the flu this season, about a third of the population.

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  • Staff directed away from fever clinics

    Amid growing demand for Queensland health services during winter, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath announced the state’s network of standalone COVID-19 fever clinics would be wound down.

    “The staff who have been operating fever clinics will now return to their normal roles,” she said.

    “We are at the stage of the pandemic where we can and should direct our health resources to where they are needed most.

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    “Fever clinics were always a temporary measure and transitioning our clinical expertise back to hospitals and frontline services was always part of the plan.

    “This will help our hospitals manage the increasing demand for their services during our busy winter period.”

    While gold-standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 would continue to be available “at a small number of Queensland Health locations”, the focus would turn to rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits.

    “Queenslanders should use a RAT kit when they have COVID-19 symptoms, they should isolate if they test positive – and they should stay home while they have acute respiratory symptoms,” she said.

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