Australians are being encouraged to travel over the Easter long weekend and be reassured by the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, egged on by an end to Queensland’s lockdown.
Just one new community case was recorded overnight, linked to one of the existing two clusters, as tens of thousands of Queenslanders came forward for testing.
“That is good news for Queensland and Easter is good to go,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
On Thursday afternoon, Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd lifted the declaration of Greater Brisbane as a national hotspot.
Prof Kidd said members of the public should continue to follow the directions of their state or territory health department, and monitor their website for updates.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack urged Australians to “do your patriotic duty” and see the country.
More than 100,000 cheap tickets have already been booked on the first day of a federal scheme covering 15 locations over the next three months.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced one Byron Bay man had tested positive on Tuesday and was linked to a Brisbane cluster, but wasn’t included in official figures until Thursday.
She remains cautious and wants people to stay in their local area over the Easter period if they’re in Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Tweed. But it’s not mandatory.
“It is a low risk, but they can unintentionally seed the virus in communities where the virus doesn’t exist,” she said.
But the stoush over the supply of vaccine doses continues.
“We give out our figures every day and it would be great to see the Commonwealth do exactly the same,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Our total vaccinations now are at 79,534.”
Mr McCormack defended the pace of the large rollout and the Morrison government’s work with the states, and said NSW has been the standard bearer throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a large exercise. We’re getting through it – 744,000 Australians vaccinated already, yesterday a record 74,000,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the million-dose mark will be hit next week, after ditching initial hopes of four million by the end of March.
Ms Berejiklian warned without co-operation the federal government will miss its own October deadline for all Australians who want the vaccine to have had one dose, including her six million citizens.
“The Commonwealth has responsibility for the entire vaccine rollout, except for the 300,000 the NSW government has been asked to do,” she said.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the Morrison government was “all smirk and mirrors” and that “it has to accept responsibility for this and it has to get it right.”
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles slammed federal minister David Littleproud for blaming states for a bungled rollout.
“We have right now on hand just three days’ supply of the Pfizer vaccine. We have 12 days’ supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
“David Littleproud is 2021’s April Fool.”
Not backing down, Mr Littleproud said Queensland left vaccines in the rack and not in health workers’ arms.
“I won’t be lectured to by a man who was sacked as health minister and a government that was derelict in their duty of protecting their frontline health workers,” he said in a statement.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has opted for a two-week lockdown for Brisbane nursing homes, pointing to the slow federal rollout as denying adequate protection.
She said only 56 of 186 aged care facilities that the Commonwealth planned to vaccinate in the outbreak area have had doses administered.
Prisons and hospitals also remain out of bounds.
Revellers, musicians and local businesses have already taken a hit from the cancellation of Byron Bay’s popular Bluesfest after community transmission linked to the Brisbane clusters.
But Sydney’s Royal Easter Show will go ahead, after being cancelled last year.
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