Say Goodbye To Queensland’s Venue Vaccine Lockouts

Time to reunite


Article heading image for Say Goodbye To Queensland’s Venue Vaccine Lockouts

Check-ins and green ticks will soon be a thing of the past for most settings in Queensland, with the vaccination mandate set to ease overnight.

The state's strict Covid restrictions barring unvaccinated people from entering most hospitality and entertainment venues, will get the axe from 1am on April 14, with the “trigger point” Queenslands high jab rates and passing the peak of a second Omicron wave.

CEO of the Restaurant and Catering Association, Wes Lambert, told Australia Today's Natarsha Belling that the next item on the wishlist is the scrapping of close contact isolation rules.

"As high as 20 per cent of staff are effected by close contact and isolation rules on any given day, and this is on top of the critical workforce shortage," Mr Lambert said.

"Many members and many in the industry are saying they are permanently short 20 to 40 per cent of a full staffing"

"These isolation rules are definitely creating a lot of burdens for business," he said. "We expected as an industry that once everyone was vaccinated that we would just learn to live with Covid and that we wouldn't have these type of restrictions".

With the embattled sector coping two-years of staffing shortages and lockdowns, Mr Lambert said we now need to scrap isolation rules for close contacts.

"This needs leadership. This needs the Prime Minister and the premiers to get together and say look, these isolation rules aren't working"

- Mr Lambert

The double-dose entry requirement will end for most public venues, including pubs, cafes, stadiums, galleries and libraries, but will remain for vulnerable settings, including hospitals, aged and disability care, prisons, schools and early childhood centres, with some workers still required to have received two-doses of a Covid vaccine.

It comes as health experts warn Covid cases could be going unreported in Queensland, with hospitalisations at their highest rate since the second Omicron wave.

University of Queensland’s Dr Paul Griffin warns the high rate of positive PCR tests is of concern with the likelihood Queenslanders are ignoring symptoms.

“It does correlate with the fact that there’s likely to be a large number of cases out there that aren’t being detected,” he said.

The number of patients being treated for Covid in hospitals has climbed steadily over the past week, with 572 admissions on Tuesday, the highest figure during the second Omicron wave.

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13 April 2022

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