WORLD Aussie state scraps more COVID-19 restrictions despite high community transmission

WORLD

Aussie state scraps more COVID-19 restrictions despite high community transmission

Xinhua

12:02, June 30, 2022

SYDNEY, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The Australian state of Queensland eased several of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday, despite the high community transmission of the virus.

A view of Brisbane, capital of the State of Queensland. (Photo: Xinhua)

Queensland health authorities reported 5,286 new cases in the daily update on Thursday, bringing the state's overall tally to 1,292,709.

Despite such high numbers, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was quoted by the national broadcaster ABC as saying Queensland had remained strong so the restrictions have been eased in sensible stages.

"I once again pay tribute to the resilience of Queenslanders for the strength of response to this pandemic," Palaszczuk said.

Under the new guidelines, visitors to vulnerable groups such as residents of aged-care facilities, disability accommodation, and correctional facilities will no longer need to be vaccinated.

Likewise, staff in high-risk settings, such as childcare centers and schools and airports, will be able to remain unvaccinated, unless requested by their bosses to get the jabs.

Visitors entering Queensland from overseas will no longer need to complete a COVID-19 test on arrival and people at airports will be able to leave their masks off, although they will still have to wear them while on public transport.

The relaxation of the safety conditions has already been questioned by some health experts such as University of Queensland (UQ) infectious disease specialist Paul Griffin who told Xinhua that he would have preferred the restrictions to have remained "at least for the next few weeks."

"I understand the government's strong desire to get life back to normal, but I think we must make it clear to the public that we are not out of trouble just yet," Griffin said.

"All the things that we have learned to do over the past few years such as social distancing, mask-wearing and proper ventilation are still very important and should be encouraged."

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