How families can get around QLD border ban
Families separated by Queensland's travel ban on Sydney can circumvent it by reuniting with loved ones in regional NSW without the need to quarantine.
A re-elected Annastacia Palaszczuk on Sunday boasted she had "stared down critics over" her decision to exempt Sydney from a reopening to NSW.
But with northern parts of the state including Byron Bay and Kingscliff already included in a travel bubble, many Sydneysiders have already made the most of regional travel to reunite with interstate relatives.
This workaround will now also apply to all regional areas outside Sydney.
Ballina-Byron Airport manager Julie Stewart said there would be 61 flights arriving this week, more planes than pre-COVID.
"We're becoming a reunion centre, where people fly in from Sydney and have parents or relatives come down from Queensland to meet in the middle," she said.
She added Sydneysiders were working remotely in Byron for two weeks then going to Brisbane to avoid hotel quarantine.
COVID JAB TO PROVIDE FIVE-YEAR DEFENCE
The world's most advanced coronavirus vaccine won't provide "absolute" immunity, but will likely give "protection" from the deadly disease for about five years.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed he spoke directly with head of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine program Professor Sarah Gilbert about the potency of the drug, which is in stage three trials.
"(Prof Gilbert) said it's likely to be, but we can't say definitively, a multi-year defence in the order of five years asa guide, and it's likely to give significant protection," Mr Hunt said.
"But we can't say yet whether we'll be an absolute protection."
Mr Hunt said the precise efficacy of the Oxford University vaccine, which Australia has secured 33.8 million doses of, was "yet to be determined" through clinical trials.
"But the initial, and then the progressive results with immunity and T cells, antibodies are positive," he said.
Mr Hunt said the promising vaccine meant Australia would see a "progressive capacity" to bring people from overseas, and for residents to travel overseas "more and more" as people are vaccinated.
"2021 is obviously the year of COVID vaccines in Australia," he said.
Mr Hunt said the results from both the Oxford University and the University of Queensland, of which Australia has secured 51 million units, were both "more positive than expected".
"All of that is I think heartening," he said.
"We are now close to additional contracts and there are two further ones on the advice of the medical expert panel which have been pursued and, which I am confident will be completed within the coming weeks if not earlier," he said.
The final roll out of the vaccines in Australia will be taken to National Cabinet by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the coming weeks.
Mr Hunt said that would include the "formal early priorities" with health workers and the elderly expected to be first recipients of a vaccine.
"But what we want to do is give every Australian … who seeks to be vaccinated, that capacity, over the course of the coming 12 months," Mr Hunt said.
Originally published as How families can get around QLD border ban