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By Ray White Whitsunday

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland’s borders will reopen to all of New South Wales from February 1.

“The border checkpoints will be coming down, that’s also good news for our police as well, because they’ve done a mighty job down there as our emergency services have as well,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young was “delighted” when she made the decision overnight.

“If anyone’s down there in NSW or Victoria and you’re thinking about having a holiday, come up to Cairns.”

“Everyone is here, ready and willing to welcome you with open arms and a friendly smile.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the hotspot program had worked “very well.”

Queensland recorded one new case of coronavirus in the past 24 hours from someone who was in hotel quarantine.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says a decision on reopening Queensland’s borders to Greater Sydney would be made today. Picture: Matt Taylor

Dr Young said once the Commonwealth Government had secured supplies of the COVID vaccine, health officials would be able to “roll them out immediately”.

“Our first six hubs will be in our major cities that are at the highest risk of having any cases,” she said.

“Then as we get those newer vaccines that can be distributed more easily because they don’t need to be managed in those very, very low temperatures … we will be able to spread that vaccine out throughout the state.”

She said the time frame for rolling out the vaccine would depend on when the Commonwealth secures the vaccine supplies.

“We know from the Commonwealth that they expect to get the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine towards the end of February,” Dr Young said.

“So we hope to be able to start vaccination then.

“And as we get those other doses of additional vaccines, as soon as we get them, we’ve got the systems in place to rapidly get them out.”

Dr Young said hotel quarantine workers and health staff would be among the first to get the vaccine in Queensland, followed by the vulnerable – such as those in aged care.

“Then gradually all adults will be offered that vaccine,” she said.

“At the end, when all adults have been vaccinated, depending what the evidence says about children and when the trials have been done, we will then look at children.”

There are currently 12 active COVID cases in Queensland.

Originally published as Countdown on to Qld borders reopening to Sydney

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