Queensland eyes Byron case as Tweed prepares for snap lockdown

© Getty Palaszczuk said the state had passed the milestone of 60 per cent of eligible Queenslanders having received a first dose of the vaccine.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has labelled as “misinformation” reports her state was considering pushing back some elements of the national reopening plan to when 90 per cent of the eligible population was vaccinated.

Also on Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk said she had received advice from Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young about “concerns” for a case of the virus in Byron Bay, but would wait to see what NSW authorities announced at their 11am update.

“But we just need to be ready if NSW does anything in relation to that Byron Bay area,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “So please listen to updates from Queensland Health.”

Minutes after the Premier’s update, but before the official NSW update, Nine reported the busy Byron and Tweed local government areas would be returned to lockdown from 5pm.

After Queensland reinstated most of its border bubble with northern NSW last week, authorities said they would mirror any decision by southern counterparts to send regions back into lockdown.

Queensland reported one new case of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine from almost 10,000 tests in the previous 24 hours.

Ms Palaszczuk said the state had passed the milestone of 60 per cent of eligible Queenslanders having received a first dose of the vaccine, with 20,512 administered in state-run hubs on Monday following a “super Pfizer” weekend.

Ms Palaszczuk also addressed reports from News Corp, citing Labor insiders, that the state was considering pushing back a full reopening of its border until a 90 per cent double-dose vaccination figure was reached.

“That is misinformation that was being peddled today,” Ms Palaszczuk said, with national cabinet waiting to receive further information around the Doherty Institute modelling which underpins the national plan.

Updated analysis presented to the group on Friday found in some instances stay at home orders and travel bans should remain in some areas of concern until the 80 per cent vaccination target was reached.

Dr Young has previously said she hoped to see vaccination rates of up to 90 per cent. Tasmania’s top medico has recently raised the potential for such a figure.

“Eighty per cent means different things to different states,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

She highlighted that people could already travel to Queensland from all other states except NSW, Victoria and the ACT, where there were ongoing large-scale outbreaks, which meant the situation was “completely different”.

“So a large part of Australia is already opened up,” she said. “To protect yourself and protect our freedom … I encourage everyone, please, go and get vaccinated.”

Announcing a large aerial tanker in the region ahead of the coming fire season, Ms Palaszczuk said she attended a seniors afternoon tea further south in Hervey Bay on Monday and was concerned about the misinformation filtering through to residents online.

“Can I please tell Queenslanders – do not listen to misinformation on Facebook or social media,” she said. “If you have any concerns and you’re an elderly resident, go and see your doctor or come to one of our vaccination hubs to get the most up-to-date information.”

Queensland remains firmly at the back of vaccine uptake among Australian jurisdictions, alongside Western Australia.

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