Biggest hint yet for end to border closures

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has dropped the biggest hint that the state’s days of snap border closures may be at an end following the rollout of Covid vaccines.

Queensland has been one of the more risk averse states when dealing with Covid outbreaks, with Brisbane going into lockdown for three days last month after just one case of Covid.

But Young said the vaccine “totally changes” the landscape for dealing with outbreaks.

“I don’t think we will need to use lockdowns,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. “You can never say never. You keep all of these things as part of your toolkit. I doubt we’ll need to use lockdowns going forward.”

Young said outbreaks could be ring fenced with vaccinations rather than lockdowns or border closures.

“We can go into a community where there has been an outbreak and immediately start vaccinating in that community,” she said. “It will help enormously.”

Young said she never liked having to recommend border closures to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

“It’s not helpful, it’s very unnatural as well,” she said. “But I think it was important that you minimise the risk of new cases. I never realised how many people travel every single day [between NSW and Queensland].”