Queensland: no quarantine-free overseas travel until 2022

The state sets its own 90% vaccination threshold as the point at which quarantine is abolished.

By David Flynn, October 18 2021
Queensland: no quarantine-free overseas travel until 2022

Queensland is unlikely to begin quarantine-free international travel until early 2022, when the state achieves a 90% rate of vaccination, based on the roadmap revealed today by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Although the state's domestic borders will be progressively unlocked at the 70% and 80% milestones – expected to be reached on November 19 and December 17 – overseas travel won't begin to bounce back until the 80% mark.

At this point, fully-vaccinated arrivals will be allowed to spend an as-yet-undefined quarantine period at home, provided they can also show a negative result from a Covid-19 test in the previous 72 hours.

Unvaccinated arrivals will still be subject to an international arrivals cap and need to enter 14 days of Government-managed quarantine at their own expense.

It's only when at 90% of the people aged 16 and above have been double-jabbed that Queensland – which will fall sometime in early 2022 – will remove all international entry restrictions and arrival caps, along with the need to quarantine.

At the time of writing, Qantas has slated the return of international flights from Brisbane from December 19 to Los Angeles and Singapore, with other destinations streaming through from early 2022 – although the airline has brought forward its first flights from quarantine-free Sydney to Los Angeles and London to November 1.

Queensland residents who can't wait until 2022 and leave the state to hop onto an overseas flight from Sydney – where international travel will resume without quarantine from November 1 – will still need to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The state's insistence on setting its own 90% reopening benchmark rather than observing the national cabinet's 80% threshold drew fire from Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last month, saying "it would be ridiculous that we would reopen international borders for someone from NSW or Victoria to go to Canada before they could go to Cairns."

Brisbane Airport Corporation has voiced its concern over the state's delayed reopening of international borders, saying that if a fully-vaccinated traveller from Melbourne can come to Queensland and not be required to quarantine once we have reached the 80% vaccinated population milestone, "a fully-vaccinated person from Los Angeles should also be able to come to Queensland and not be required to quarantine."

In a statement issued this afternoon, BAC said it was "deeply concerned that this will see international airlines exit the Queensland market for interstate destinations where they can operate without the profit-killing impost of passenger caps."

"It would be an absolute tragedy, as it would take several years and significant investment to try and recover these airlines and services."

Also read: Qatar Airways seeks year-round Brisbane flights

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 159

Boy, Anna & Co. sure know how to drag out and milk a pandemic for all it's worth. Even when the overwhelming majority would've had their shots and are travel-ready, according to previously agreed national standards. John Dahlberg-Acton got it right when he said "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

90%. Like Darth Vader said in The Empire Strikes Back, ‘I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further’ .

25 Jun 2021

Total posts 27

A plan of action is well over due. But this 90% cap might not be possible, recent survey suggested 13% will not take up the vaccine. So QLD might not get to 90%. 80% for December so thats another 2 months at least before the 90 may come in. I was looking at BNE to SIN early Jan but will hold off now due to this announcement. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 468

There is also doubt about whether Qld will ever be able to reach the 90% mark. Polls in Qld fairly consistently show about 13% of adults saying they will not get vaccinated. Why Annastacia thinks it's acceptable to reneg on the 80% figure she had agreed to originally, I have no idea.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 25

As a whole of life Queenslander, I have grave doubts that we will ever reach the 90% double vaccination threshold. There is, currently, far too much hesitancy, and even outright hostility towards vaccination to make such a number possible. Just have a look at our dwindling daily first doses.

I also doubt that, even if we have a serious outbreak, we will see the 90% hurdle reached, such is the rusted-on anti-vax attitude of many of my fellow Queenslanders, which has, in part, been framed, in my local area, by the mutterings of an outgoing politician. 

What happens then? If the hurdle isn’t reached, inbound (and inevitably outbound) international travel to Queensland will cease to exist. In that respect, I’m in lock step with BAC and thank them for for injecting some well thought out comments into the debate.

emercycrite Banned
emercycrite Banned

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 7

So glad to be a Sydneysider.

I do like the placement of the Also Read story about Qatar looking for more flights to BNE, directly below the quote from the Airport Corporation saying airlines would abandon the airport.

Which one is it?

so qlders can depart overseas from 18 December & it they come back sometime in January, will probably be no quarantine at all & how on earth would anyone be able to police home quarantine anyway ? Seriously. Even many Labor voters in Qld want Anna gone & CHO is just as bad.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 156

Agree with the above that Qld will find it difficult to get much above 80%, let alone 90%.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 136

This is what happens, when politics gets mixed up in business or bureaucrats trying to manipulate policy, without any discussion of stake holders.

How are they going to check if sydney siders or melburnians have travelled overseas prior? It was easy when they had 2 flights per day. It won't be easy or smart to check thousands of domestic travellers and their overseas travel history.

This is beyond BS. If they had nominated December 17th for no hotel or home quarantine, they would saved themselves this embarrassment. I live in QLD, not so sure how to say it publically anymore. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 159


Many Queenslanders are ticked off with the premier and her diminished CHO Dr. Young about the border situation. The last straw was when Young brazenly admitted on camera that border exemptions are freely given to movie stars and celebs and sportsman and the like because they "....make money". Ordinary folks are at the back of the line with no guarantee of success. Whatever residual respect Young and Palaszczuk may have had up till that point vanished like snow in springtime. If that isn't mixing up politics and money before health, then I don't know what is?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 319

Do not rule out certain LGA still being excluded anyway, places like Nth Qld with low vaccination rates may still require quarantine and places like Cairns may well be punished for having low vaccination rates in the communities around it. One thing people are finally starting to learn with the Qld premier, don’t listen to what she says, look at what she does. 

28 Aug 2019

Total posts 34

Hello Queenslanders, unfortunately we live in an utterly backward State in every respect, except for sports, and happy to be looked upon as being laid back. The truth of the matter is that many of us have moved up from the South because of the weather, and are far from laid back. Those of us from the South wish to travel overseas ASAP, whilst the laid back version of Queensland prefer to have their holidays in their own back yard. This does damn all for the economy, and hard to get it through their skulls that we need to open the borders to all in sundry that have been double vaxed. For those not vaxed, holiday in your backyard.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 210

It's a sad state of affairs in this country that there's even the remote possibility ABF would be checking on peoples LGA..


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 940

I was just talking to someone in Qld that had to wait 4 hours for an ambulance, makes myself understand why they don’t want a covid outbreak.

To throw a different perspective on the international timeline for QLD'rs, I've been following the Covid Live website (which shows daily vaccinations and projections based on a rolling seven day average).

Queensland is due to hit 90% before Christmas - around Dec 13 - and 95% first dose by Dec 28.

Again, these are real numbers based on seven day dosages administered. I've been following the website for months and 2022 has never come into play. Add political pressure to that, and I think you'll see international borders flung open sooner.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Queensland: no quarantine-free overseas travel until 2022