Unvaccinated Queenslanders have 12 days to get their first COVID-19 jab if they want to be fully protected when travel restrictions are eased in mid-December, the chief health officer says.
The state on Monday unveiled its roadmap to reopening to the rest of Australia, laying out how restrictions will be relaxed in stages.
Under the plan, fully vaccinated travellers who test negative will be allowed to quarantine at home from November 19, when 70 per cent of eligible Queenslanders aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated.
From December 17, fully vaccinated travellers who test negative will be allowed to enter Queensland without quarantining. That change could happen sooner if 80 per cent are fully vaccinated before then.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says unvaccinated people have 12 days left to get their first jab if they want the vaccine to reach full efficacy by December 17.
"You've got, as the premier said, 12 days to do it, because after that we will be bringing in virus through the borders in vaccinated people," she told reporters on Tuesday.
"We know that once you're vaccinated you still can get infected and transmit it, but you're very unlikely to get unwell, very unlikely you're going to end up in hospital.
"So every single Queenslander is going to get exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and we'll get infected, but if you're vaccinated, that's not a problem."
The main cohort lagging in Queensland's rollout are people aged 20-39 with the government saying another 400,000 people need to get the jab to reach 80 per cent.
The final stage of the plan is to drop quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated international travellers once vaccine coverage reaches 90 per cent in Queensland.
At that point, checks on vaccine status will also be dropped at the state's road borders.
Ms Palaszczuk said her aim was not to close the borders again after December 17, because the coronavirus would be endemic in Queensland.
"That is the aim because the virus will be circulating," she told Nine's Today program on Tuesday.
However, the premier couldn't give a "rock solid" guarantee that borders would remain open permanently if national cabinet decided they needed to be shut again.
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath has also said quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers could be eased even earlier, pending advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
"If they advise us at some point in the future that we can reduce it, then that's great," she told reporters on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Dr Young says the modelling of opening to COVID-19 shows that virus cases will peak at about 1200 cases per day within the next 10 months in the worst-case scenario.
In that situation up to 400 fully staffed ICU beds would be occupied, but she says the state has 300 beds at any time and can ramp up to 600 when required.
"We will make sure that we put in place the restrictions to limit the spread when we start getting outbreaks, but if we did have worst-case we've got the capacity to manage it," Dr Young said.
Currently, 72.8 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had one vaccine dose, and 57.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Australian Associated Press
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