Queensland has recorded 23,630 new Covid cases and three deaths from the virus overnight as the state prepares to open the border to all Australians within hours. 

Of the new cases, 10,182 were detected by rapid antigen tests. There were 14,914 cases on Thursday.

Two of those who died were in their 70s and the other was in their 60s. All three were unvaccinated.

There are 589 Covid patients in Queensland hospital (up from 530 on Thursday) and 41 in intensive care (up from 26 on Thursday). 

Queensland has now recorded nine deaths from the virus in the past two days, more than it had in the previous two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 1am on Saturday, all Aussies, including the unvaccinated, can travel to the state without any extra requirements. 

Queensland has recorded 23,630 new Covid cases and three deaths from the virus overnight. Pictured is a police checkpoint at Coolangatta on the NSW/ Queensland border

Queensland has recorded 23,630 new Covid cases and three deaths from the virus overnight. Pictured is a police checkpoint at Coolangatta on the NSW/ Queensland border

Queensland has recorded 23,630 new Covid cases and three deaths from the virus overnight. Pictured is a police checkpoint at Coolangatta on the NSW/ Queensland border

That includes those coming from domestic hot spots, who will no longer have to show proof of a negative Covid test or fill out a border form.

Interstate travellers will also not have to quarantine upon arrival. 

The massive changes are in line with the state hitting its 90 per cent double vaccination target early next week. 

Most border restrictions are set to be lifted for international arrivals once the 90 per cent double vaxx target is met, but unvaccinated international arrivals will still have to quarantine.

Queensland’s vaccination rate is currently at 88.1 per cent.

‘Now is the time for the barricades to come down and the police to come home,’ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said upon announcing the changes on Thursday.

She said the decision would allow police which have spent weeks manning border checkpoints to return to their duties. 

Australians will be able to enter Queensland freely come 1am on Saturday as the Sunshine State's historic border finally comes down

Australians will be able to enter Queensland freely come 1am on Saturday as the Sunshine State's historic border finally comes down

Australians will be able to enter Queensland freely come 1am on Saturday as the Sunshine State’s historic border finally comes down

‘It is also going to mean that there is a greater ability for those people in NSW and the southern parts of our Gold Coast will be able to reunite, we know it’s tough on the border communities,’ she said. 

The state’s health minister Yvette D’Ath said it was a waste of time and resources checking all arrivals into the state.

‘We don’t want to spend our time looking at whether we need to be declaring and changing hot spots,’ she said. 

‘We should assume that anyone travelling around Australia domestically could have the virus and so it is a lot less important to worry about where people are coming from.’

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the changes were in line with the state heading towards 90 per cent double vaccination coverage

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the changes were in line with the state heading towards 90 per cent double vaccination coverage

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the changes were in line with the state heading towards 90 per cent double vaccination coverage

Teenagers are seen celebrating Schoolies on the Gold Coast

Teenagers are seen celebrating Schoolies on the Gold Coast

Teenagers are seen celebrating Schoolies on the Gold Coast

While the unvaccinated will be allowed in, most events and venues will be restricted to those who’ve received both jabs. 

Ms Palaszczuk said over the past two years police had conducted more than 3million checks on vehicles wanting to cross the border, with more than 35,000 of these being turned around. 

‘It’s a big decision but it’s a decision that is needed as we reach the peak of this Omicron wave,’ she said. 

‘Operationally, the police are needed at the front line and they have done an absolutely superb job.’   

More to come 

Source: Daily Mail

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