Queensland may have the nation's highest levels of net interstate migration as Australians in locked down areas pull up stumps to move to the Sunshine State, enticed by the affordability, climate and relatively free lifestyle, but it has not come without its costs.
One of those costs - or indeed deterrents - is hotel quarantine, but starting next week the state will start trialing a new home quarantine system to make life easier for new arrivals, provided they have been fully vaccinated with at least two weeks having passed since the second dose was received.
Following pilot programs in South Australia and New South Wales that will form the basis for a nationwide set-up once international borders reopen, from 11 October 1,000 returning Queensland by air will be given the opportunity to trial the new model.
"We are so excited for this trial of home quarantine to commence in Queensland where we will see up to 1,000 returning Queenslanders offered an opportunity to participate," Minister for Health Yvette D’Ath said.
"On 11 October, Queensland residents currently located in a COVID-19 hotspot, who have already applied to return home, will be invited to trial this new model.
"Those who have already applied to return to Queensland will be contacted by the Government to ascertain their eligibility to participate."
Minister D’Ath said it was important for participants in the trial to take it seriously.
"We ask that those Queenslanders taking part in the trial take the requirements of quarantining at home very seriously, to give the trial the best chance of success and possible future expansion," she said.
She said participants would need to nominate their quarantine address, which must be located within one of the eight approved local government areas (LGAs) - Brisbane (excluding Moreton Island), Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast, Redland (excluding the islands of the Redland LGA).
"These Local Government Areas have been chosen because they are within safe driving distance of the port of arrival, in this case being Brisbane Airport," Minister D'Ath said.
"Where a returning Queensland resident has nominated a private residence to complete the home quarantine trial, any other people who normally reside at the same location, and who will remain there during the quarantine period, will also need to quarantine.
"As all Queenslanders would want, strict criteria must be met by the person taking part in the home quarantine trial."
Apart from vaccination and the need for them to arrive by air, other requirements for trial participants include the following:
- Have returned a negative PCR test within 72 hours of entry;
- Use the home-quarantine check-in system;
- Quarantine at home for 14 days;
- Subject themselves to tests on days one, five and 12; and
- Have a suitable home with a direct entry.
Interstate arrival statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in August show a net migration into Queensland of more than 7,000 in the March quarter and 9,763 in the December quarter. These figures are 5-7 times the state with the second-highest net migration rate - Western Australia.
Updated at 3.23pm AEDT on 7 October 2021.
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