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Queensland to go mask-free at 80% COVID vax milestone

Queenslanders will be able to pack away their surgical masks the minute 80% of the state has had at least one dose of COVID vaccine.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced that the 80% ‘first jab’ milestone, expected soon, would make it safe for people to so about their business, including courts and workplaces as well schools, cafes, pubs and clubs, to go mask-free.

“This is another small step back towards life as normal,” she said. “Queenslanders have done an incredible job all through the pandemic and this is their reward.

“The more of us who are vaccinated, the faster we return to life the way it used to be. “That means life without the need to wear masks except at airports and on planes.”

Under federal rules, masks are mandatory in airports and planes.

They are also strongly recommended for public transport and places where people cannot socially distance anywhere across Queensland.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the milestone made it one rule for everywhere.

“We have no community cases and therefore no need to wear masks in most settings,” she said. “But we shouldn’t throw them away.

“Masks have been an excellent defence against the spread of COVID and it’s more than likely we will need them again.”

Late yesterday Queensland was at 79.6% – tantalisingly close to the 80% target.

Ms D’Ath said a good roll-up today could achieve 80% by tomorrow.

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