Australia shouldn’t open up the borders to any more countries until the national coronavirus vaccine rollout in completed, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.
The state government is in talks with airlines to restart direct flights from New Zealand to regional tourism destinations as soon as the travel bubble opens on April 19.
Ms Palaszczuk is keen for cross-Tasman tourism to resume, but she’s wary about opening the international borders to more countries.
Australia shouldn’t open up the borders to any more countries until the national coronavirus vaccine rollout in completed, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says
She says the vaccination drive should be completed before travel bubbles are set up with other countries amid speculation about renewed travel to and from Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
‘If the federal government’s looking at in opening up our borders to to other countries I think New Zealand is is a good first step, but I don’t think we should be opening up to any other country until we have the vaccine rollout complete,’ the premier told reporters on Wednesday.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland has about 14-days’ supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine and seven days of the Pfizer jab.
The state received 25,000 Pfizer doses on Thursday and was told there would not be another delivery for a fortnight.
Ms D’Ath said the government isn’t stockpiling the vaccine, but holding a contingency in place with additional supplies uncertain.
‘We can use it as quickly as we can, and run out and wait for that next delivery, but we are mindful that at this stage we have no confirmation there’ll be another Pfizer delivery within the fortnight,’ she said.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland has about 14-days’ supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine and seven days of the Pfizer jab
Queensland reported six new cases of COVID-19, all in hotel quarantine, on Wednesday.
The state’s hospitals are treating 73 active cases after an outbreak triggered a three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane last week.
Authorities also announced that a dual Papua New Guinean-British national – Mal ‘Kela’ Smith, the 77-year-old former governor of PNG’s Eastern Highlands province – had died from COVID complications in Redcliffe Hospital on March 29.
Mr Smith served as a helicopter pilot in the Australian Defence Force and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry during a medevac operation in the Vietnam War in 1970.
The state received 25,000 Pfizer doses on Thursday and was told there would not be another delivery for a fortnight
He founded the Pacific Helicopter Group and was also chair of the Goroka Hospital Board.
Mr Smith then founded the Kela Foundation in 2017 to support underprivileged and disadvantaged communities.
Central Province Governor Robert Agarobe said it was very sad his ‘dear friend’ had died.
‘My aviation life with Malcolm Kela Smith was a Love and Hate relationship as competitors and we had our moments however, we were best of friends who shared more then a few beers togather (sic) and assisted each other in times of need when it came to work,’ he wrote on Facebook.
‘We both had the out most (sic) respect for each other as brothers and Aviators.
‘A THOUGH (sic) BUGGER, A TRUE AVIATOR AND A LEGEND.’