COVID Update - Border Opens & Changes Ahead for Contact Tracing - 96five Family Radio

COVID Update – Border Opens & Changes Ahead for Contact Tracing

What you need to know about today's border re-opening and how contact tracing will be managed after Christmas.

By 96five Monday 13 Dec 2021TrendingReading Time: 4 minutes

State border changes – what you need to know:

Queensland’s state border restrictions have eased, allowing travellers from COVID-19 domestic hotspots to enter the state without having to quarantine.

Anyone entering Queensland from domestic hotspots such as New South Wales and Victoria, will have to complete a border declaration pass.

Travellers can arrive by road or air provided they are fully vaccinated and can provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test in the previous 72 hours.

They will also have to obtain a Covid-19 test on day five after their arrival.  You must receive a negative Covid-19 result before applying for a border pass, unless you live within the border zone area.

More information about getting a Covid-19 test in New South Wales is available here, or testing information for Victoria is available here.

Residents living in the declared border zone will be able to move freely across the border without the need for a PCR test, however, they will still need to be vaccinated and have a valid border pass.

Unvaccinated border zone residents will be restricted to travel for essential reasons.

New border passes can be obtained here.

Road border traffic

Extensive delays are expected at state border crossings on Monday and Tuesday (December 13-14) with anticipation there will be high volumes of returning Queensland residents and travellers driving into the state.

The Queensland Police Service will be conducting compliance activities at the road border checkpoints and motorists may be intercepted for verification of their declaration pass and supporting evidence.

We recommend the following for people crossing road borders:

  • Ensure your border pass is printed and clearly on display on your windscreen
  • Do not attempt to cross the border without a valid pass as you will be turned around
  • Consider travelling outside peak periods and after Monday if possible
  • Plan for delays exceeding 60 minutes at high peak times
  • Remain patient and follow the directions of signage and officer’s directions

The Queensland Government has today announced new response measures to COVID cases, commencing on 1 January 2022.

Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath said that these measures are consistent with Australia’s national plan for reopening.

“Queensland’s management of COVID-19 so far has meant we’ve experienced significantly less cases than other jurisdictions, and after hitting that 80 per cent vaccination target, our borders are re-opening,” Minister D’Ath said.

“To continue moving forward, we also need to acknowledge that the coming months will inevitably bring a rise in cases and increased community transmission.

“For every COVID positive person, there will also be close and casual contacts. Managing the testing, tracing and quarantine of these people – along with bolstering surge capacity in our hospitals – will be key in keeping businesses and borders open.

“As with the restrictions that are set to start on 17 December, what you have to do if you are a close contact will be all about your vaccination status.”

Requirements for casual contacts from 1 January 2022:

  • Get tested immediately and quarantine until receiving a negative result.
  • Encouraged to wear a mask outside the home for 14 days.

Requirements for vaccinated close contacts from 1 January 2022:

  • Quarantine for seven days.
  • Get a test immediately and on day five.
  • Move out of quarantine on day eight (if tested negative).
  • Precautionary measures including mask wearing outside the home and avoiding high-risk settings for days 8-14.
  • Vaccinated household contacts of close contacts do not need to quarantine, but will need a test on day one and five.
  • Unvaccinated household contacts of close contacts will need to follow the same quarantine and testing requirements as the close contact, unless they can separate from the contact.

Requirements for un-vaccinated close contacts from 1 January 2022:

  • Quarantine for 14 days.
  • Get tested immediately and on days five and 12.
  • Vaccinated household contacts of close contacts will need to quarantine for seven days, and get a test on day one and five, unless they can separate from the contact.
  • Unvaccinated household contacts of close contacts will need to follow the same quarantine and testing requirements as the close contact, unless they can separate from the contact.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the new arrangements would minimise disruption for businesses while managing the risks of COVID-19.

“We acknowledge this is a new normal for everyone, and I know all business owners just want to do the right thing,” Minister Farmer said.

“This provides the clarity and certainty of what managing COVID in the workplace looks like.

“We’ll continue to support businesses through this transition and urge them to visit the Business Queensland website.”

Minister Farmer said it was crucial for Queensland businesses to continue using the Check In QLD app.

“It’s more important than ever to be visiting and supporting small business, but it’s critical that people observe the current requirements and continue to use the Check In QLD app so you can be notified for contact tracing purposes.”

From now until 1 January, current requirements for close and casual contacts continue to apply.

More information on new close and casual contact arrangements can be found here.

More information on the current contact tracing requirements, including active alerts can be found here.