The proportion of Queenslanders who have had one dose is less than every state except Western Australia, and children are still ineligible to get vaccinated, despite increased infection rates among the young amid the latest outbreaks.
The restrictions were extended to give public service chiefs and health authorities more time to whittle down the list of those needing to cross the NSW border, and to ensure they have had at least one dose.
“It’s just messy … I can’t see NSW getting out of it, so NSW is facing lockdown for three months until they get vaccination levels up now,” Professor FitzGerald said. “We’re facing a bit of a torrid three months until we can get to that level.”
Speaking from Brisbane’s Breakfast Creek Hotel after the daily update from Queensland authorities, the largely outdoor venue’s general manager, Lance Burrows, said it was luckier than most with density requirements, but was still hit by the difficulty of snap lockdowns.
“But one [case] could be 10,” he said.
Amanda Rohan, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s policy and advocacy general manager, said businesses were desperate for nationally agreed clarity and certainty around lockdown and restriction decisions.
“Without this certainty … the impacts snap lockdowns have on business confidence will continue to claim casualties in the form of small business closures,” she said in a statement.
LNP Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said Queensland was still at the “back of the pack” when it came to vaccination levels, and he called on the Palaszczuk government to set clear goals for life beyond a point where 80 per cent of the state was fully vaccinated.
“If you set Queenslanders a challenge, they will rise to it,” he said.
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