A file photo of a health worker prepping a vaccine
Many of Queensland's vaccine mandates are set to be dropped, the premier has announced. Image by Daniel Pockett/AAP PHOTOS
  • virus diseases

Qld to dump most virus vaccine mandates

Marty Silk June 24, 2022

Queenslanders will soon no longer need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to work in schools, childcare centres, prisons and airports or to visit jails, aged care and disability facilities.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the changes will come into effect from 1am next Thursday.

“Restrictions that protected us have eased in sensible stages, and today I announce with the advice of the Chief Health Officer, we are removing some of the last remaining COVID restrictions,” she told parliament on Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk said individual employers will still be allowed to continue vaccine mandates in schools, daycare centres, prisons and airports.

Mandates will remain in force for workers in healthcare, hospitals, aged care and disability care facilities.

About 92.6 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had two doses of a vaccine, while 94.1 per cent have had one dose.

Queensland will also dump pre-arrival testing for travellers arriving from overseas.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the state’s COVID-19 testing and fever clinics will also be wound down from Friday.

She said the clinics had been crucial for detecting and limiting the spread of the virus, but they were always a temporary measure and their staff are needed to relieve pressure on hospitals and frontline health services.

“I’d like to offer my wholehearted thanks to the frontline health professionals who have been part of our COVID-19 testing,” the minister told parliament.  

“I also want to applaud the private pathology providers for their support and of course, Pathology Queensland, particularly during peak periods.”

Ms D’Ath said PCR testing would still be offered at a small number of state-run facilities where other testing options are limited.

She said most people should rely on rapid antigen tests to check if they have the virus when they show symptoms.

“They should isolate if they test positive and they should stay home while they have acute respiratory symptoms,” the minister said.

Queensland recorded another six COVID-19 deaths and 4520 new cases, taking the number of active cases to 27,628 on Friday.

There are 522 people with the virus being treated in hospitals and seven patients in ICU.