By Juliano Oliveira
Queensland Health Department has decided to remove the label of safe travel country from New Zealand amid increased community transmission in the country.
Flights coming into Queensland from New Zealand will stop immediately, and kiwi travellers will need to complete quarantine.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said this is what needs to be done to protect all Queenslanders’ health.
“Unfortunately, over the past few days, New Zealand has been recording some new positive cases, which is why we are closing the border,” she said.
“Anyone who is permitted to travel to Queensland from New Zealand will be required to quarantine on arrival.
“Acting with an abundance of caution has kept Queenslanders safe, and that’s exactly the path we will continue to take.”
Travellers who have been in New Zealand since 21 February 2021 are being recommended to get tested and isolate until further results.
“New Zealand is working very hard to contain this community transmission, but they are still in a critical stage of their response, so we need to keep watching closely,” she said.
“Things can change really quickly with this virus – we’ve seen that in other countries around the world, which is why I am asking Queenslanders to reconsider their need to travel to New Zealand.”
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Brisbane were given to Princess Alexandra Hospital frontline staff.
The milestone follows the successful launch on Monday at the Gold Coast University Hospital and precedes the launch at Cairns Hospital on Friday.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said:
“We’ll continue to keep Queenslanders informed as we roll out this vaccine across Queensland.”
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said all six Pfizer locations would be online by early March.
“Pfizer was the first vaccine to be approved by the TGA and was the first we received from the Australian Government,” Dr Young said.
“We have had to move quickly to ensure that those who are in the highest priority groups have access to a vaccine as soon as possible – these Pfizer hubs allow us to do just that.
“But I must be clear, the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now also been approved by the TGA, is also safe and effective.
More information on the vaccine is available online: www.qld.gov.au/covid19vaccine.