Annastacia Palaszczuk has given her strongest hint yet that she will drop the Queensland hard border in time for Christmas, but issued a stern warning to those refusing to receive a Covid vaccine.
The prime minister posted a cryptic message on Twitter on Wednesday, noting that we are getting “very close” to Christmas and urging residents to “protect” themselves from the virus.
“It takes five weeks from the first dose to be fully vaccinated,” she wrote.
“Five weeks from today it’s November 17, which is very close to Christmas.”
Her hint comes as thousands of life-saving Pfizer vaccines in Brisbane are at risk of being lost due to dwindling demand, while expiration dates are fast approaching.
So far, 71 percent of Queensland residents have had a single shot and 55 percent have been fully vaccinated, compared to 90.8 percent and 75.2 percent respectively in New South Wales.
Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured Wednesday) has given her strongest hint yet that she will drop Queensland’s harsh borders in time for Christmas – warning anti-vaxxers ‘we can’t protect you’
The Queensland Prime Minister posted this message on Twitter on Wednesday evening (pictured), suggesting that borders may open earlier than people have led to believe
Bookings at a vaccine clinic in north Brisbane have also been cut in half, with around 200 appointments this week compared to nearly 500 last week.
Queensland has currently closed its borders to all of NSW and Victoria resulting in chaos for businesses desperate for tourism and heartbreak for divorced families.
The Northern Beaches outbreak last Christmas meant Sydneysiders couldn’t travel to Queensland, and the same was expected this year as Prime Minister Palaszczuk continued to defy the national plan.
Despite Australian states and territories agreeing to a national plan that would end border restrictions, Ms Palaszczuk instead said she would not admit people from NSW or Victoria if cases were high.
She also rejected the idea that Queenslanders would want to travel abroad and said they would be happier looking at their own state.
Her Wednesday night message suggests that resistance may be waning.
Australians dreaming of a hot summer break in Queensland (pictured, a boat in the Whitsundays) may be in luck
Queensland has currently closed its borders to all of New South Wales and Victoria, resulting in chaos for businesses and heartbreak for separated families (pictured, families reunited last December after flying to Brisbane from Melbourne)
“We’ve done everything we can to protect you, but this next step is up to you,” she wrote.
“We can’t protect you if you don’t protect yourself.”
Queensland currently has the second lowest vaccination rate of all states at 54.1 percent, slightly less than Western Australia’s 53.2.
However, they have the last expected date at 80 percent, currently on track to hit the magic number on December 11, two days after WA.
Ms Palaszczuk made an appeal to the residents of Queensland, hinting that the state may be ready to drop its hard limits.
“We’re counting on the people of Queensland to stay safe – let’s make it happen,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk has repeatedly refused to set a date for reopening Queensland’s borders.
Health Secretary Yvette D’Ath said the state’s “goal” was to avoid the 60,000 cases recorded in NSW during the latest Delta outbreak.
“If anyone wants a target, the target is to protect yourself in the next five to six weeks,” said Ms. D’Ath.
Ms Palaszczuk (pictured) has held a hard border position hoping to keep Covid cases out of Queensland – but has been urged to stick to the national reopening card and open up when they reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone
THE PARTS OF QUEENSLAND WITH LOW COVID VACCINATION PRICES
Double dose vaccination rate among over-15s from October 10:
Lockyer Valley – 43.7 percent
Western Downs – 43.4 percent
Logan – 42.4 percent
Banana – 41.7 percent
Charters Towers – 37.6 percent
Central Highlands – 37.1 percent
Isaac – 25.3 percent
Cherbourg – 19.4 percent
Yarrabah – 19 percent
Last week Ms Palaszczuk named herself as the new minister for the Olympics, supported by Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles as minister assisting the prime minister on Olympic infrastructure.
“Hosting the 2032 Games will bring $8 billion in economic and social benefits, as well as 91,600 jobs,” Ms Palaszczuk tweeted on Thursday.
“It’s the catalyst for the largest infrastructure program our state has ever seen, with all levels of government working together to deliver projects on time.”
She previously angered Australians after flying to Japan to “seal” the Olympics for Brisbane, outraging that she had taken a valuable hotel quarantine spot, despite repeated calls for fewer international travelers.
A family will be reunited on the maiden flight from Melbourne to Brisbane in December 2020 after Queensland drops its hard-line borders on the state