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Queensland records no new local cases as Covid-infected bulk carrier arrives

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It has now been two straight days without a local Covid case in Queensland, but an infected bulk carrier arriving off the west coast of Cape York has delivered five positive cases.

State Health Minister Yvette D’Ath on Thursday said there were six new cases from overseas – one a traveller arriving from Scotland and five coming from the Panamanian-registered ship, the Imabari Queen.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said Queensland Health was monitoring the situation and would determine if the new cases needed to come off the ship and enter hospital.

Camera IconThe Panamanian vessel Imabari Queen that is off the North Coast of Cape York. MarineTraffic.com and VessellFinder.com Credit: Supplied

The latest update came as Ms D’Ath flagged another super-vax weekend ahead, with people who attended the state’s Super-Pfizer weekend three weeks ago now due for a second dose.

Speaking from Mackay, Ms D’Ath said less than 50 per cent of Queenslanders had been double vaccinated, the lowest rate in the country. About 68.3 per cent of Queenslanders have had one dose, ahead of only Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Ms D’Ath and Dr Young are on a tour of regional Queensland to try to boost the vaccination uptake.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson was blunt in his assessment of the lax vax situation.

“I think we‘re past saying please,” he said.

“You’ve heard where we are on the state averages – (Mackay) is still 11 percentage points behind the state averages for vaccination.

“We’ve said time and time again the end result for us when Queensland opens up, or Australia opens up, if we cannot handle the 20 per cent more than unvaccinated activity, the only option is (being) locked out.

“We don’t need to go from hero to zero, we need to get out there now and get vaccinated.”

Thursday’s update means there are still no positive cases linked to the mystery masseuse case announced earlier in the week who was active in Brisbane’s northern suburbs for 10 days.

Ms D’Ath also confirmed state government plans to spare 1000 stranded Queenslanders from hotel quarantine, with an expanded government home quarantine trial kicking off next week.

The Palaszczuk government will begin welcoming back a cohort of fully vaccinated air arrivals from October 11 – so long as the successful applicants have a suitable house to bunker down in for 14 days and are willing to be tested frequently and monitored by authorities.

The strictly monitored program is available only to those already on the exemption application list, with participants being required to have a freestanding home – and not a unit – and within two hours from Brisbane Airport.

Applicants must have a smartphone to comply with monitoring, and have 14 days of groceries. Anyone living at the home must also go into quarantine.

The initiative is based on similar trials in other states, and follows the successful use of home quarantine for boarding school students and unaccompanied minors.

A government spokeswoman said this did not mean the hotel quarantine system was being phased out just yet.

COVID PRESSER
Camera IconChief health officer Jeannette Young flew out to Central Queensland, Mackay and Rockhampton on Wednesday to urge those communities to increase their vaccination rate. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall Credit: News Corp Australia

Dr Young on Thursday said she was hopeful that most returning Queenslanders would be able to home quarantine by December.

“Let’s wait, let’s not jump ahead of ourselves, we’ve got a trial starting Monday,” she said.

Thousands of Queenslanders are stuck across the border in hotspot areas, while the state’s hotel quarantine system has suffered bottlenecks as more and more Australians apply to relocate to the Sunshine State.

News of the trial comes as uncertainty continues clouds the wider reopening of the state, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday adding another barrier to easing the border restrictions.

COVID PRESSER
Camera IconPremier Annastacia Palaszczuk has added another barrier to easing the state’s borders. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall Credit: News Corp Australia

Queensland has so far proven reluctant to commit to easing border restrictions at the 80 per cent double-dose rate flagged at national cabinet and wants a plan for children who are too young to receive a vaccine as well as an increase in hospital funding from the federal government.

Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday also said she wanted to see a plan for the rollout of booster shots before committing to a date while holding up the ACT’s 93 per cent vaccination rate as a benchmark.


It has now been two straight days without a local Covid case in Queensland, but an infected bulk carrier arriving off the west coast of Cape York has delivered five positive cases.

State Health Minister Yvette D’Ath on Thursday said there were six new cases from overseas – one a traveller arriving from Scotland and five coming from the Panamanian-registered ship, the Imabari Queen.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said Queensland Health was monitoring the situation and would determine if the new cases needed to come off the ship and enter hospital.

The Panamanian vessel Imabari Queen that is off the North Coast of Cape York. Pictures: MarineTraffic.com and VessellFinder.com
Camera IconThe Panamanian vessel Imabari Queen that is off the North Coast of Cape York. MarineTraffic.com and VessellFinder.com Credit: Supplied

The latest update came as Ms D’Ath flagged another super-vax weekend ahead, with people who attended the state’s Super-Pfizer weekend three weeks ago now due for a second dose.

Speaking from Mackay, Ms D’Ath said less than 50 per cent of Queenslanders had been double vaccinated, the lowest rate in the country. About 68.3 per cent of Queenslanders have had one dose, ahead of only Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Ms D’Ath and Dr Young are on a tour of regional Queensland to try to boost the vaccination uptake.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson was blunt in his assessment of the lax vax situation.

“I think we‘re past saying please,” he said.

“You’ve heard where we are on the state averages – (Mackay) is still 11 percentage points behind the state averages for vaccination.

“We’ve said time and time again the end result for us when Queensland opens up, or Australia opens up, if we cannot handle the 20 per cent more than unvaccinated activity, the only option is (being) locked out.

“We don’t need to go from hero to zero, we need to get out there now and get vaccinated.”

Thursday’s update means there are still no positive cases linked to the mystery masseuse case announced earlier in the week who was active in Brisbane’s northern suburbs for 10 days.

Ms D’Ath also confirmed state government plans to spare 1000 stranded Queenslanders from hotel quarantine, with an expanded government home quarantine trial kicking off next week.

The Palaszczuk government will begin welcoming back a cohort of fully vaccinated air arrivals from October 11 – so long as the successful applicants have a suitable house to bunker down in for 14 days and are willing to be tested frequently and monitored by authorities.

The strictly monitored program is available only to those already on the exemption application list, with participants being required to have a freestanding home – and not a unit – and within two hours from Brisbane Airport.

Applicants must have a smartphone to comply with monitoring, and have 14 days of groceries. Anyone living at the home must also go into quarantine.

The initiative is based on similar trials in other states, and follows the successful use of home quarantine for boarding school students and unaccompanied minors.

A government spokeswoman said this did not mean the hotel quarantine system was being phased out just yet.

COVID PRESSER
Camera IconChief health officer Jeannette Young flew out to Central Queensland, Mackay and Rockhampton on Wednesday to urge those communities to increase their vaccination rate. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall Credit: News Corp Australia

Dr Young on Thursday said she was hopeful that most returning Queenslanders would be able to home quarantine by December.

“Let’s wait, let’s not jump ahead of ourselves, we’ve got a trial starting Monday,” she said.

Thousands of Queenslanders are stuck across the border in hotspot areas, while the state’s hotel quarantine system has suffered bottlenecks as more and more Australians apply to relocate to the Sunshine State.

News of the trial comes as uncertainty continues clouds the wider reopening of the state, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday adding another barrier to easing the border restrictions.

COVID PRESSER
Camera IconPremier Annastacia Palaszczuk has added another barrier to easing the state’s borders. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall Credit: News Corp Australia

Queensland has so far proven reluctant to commit to easing border restrictions at the 80 per cent double-dose rate flagged at national cabinet and wants a plan for children who are too young to receive a vaccine as well as an increase in hospital funding from the federal government.

Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday also said she wanted to see a plan for the rollout of booster shots before committing to a date while holding up the ACT’s 93 per cent vaccination rate as a benchmark.

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