For the first time in 229 days, Queensland has reopened its borders allowing friends and families to reunite just in time for Christmas.

The sunshine state dropped entry restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers who can provider a negative COVID-19 test arriving from both road and air at 1 am on Monday.

There were emotional scenes at Gold Coast airport as the first flight into the state, Jetstar flight JQ400 shortly after 6AM (local time), landed carrying hundreds of passengers from Sydney.

Friends and families hugged and cried after seeing each other in person for the first time in months.

There was an increased police presence at border checkpoints located at Queensland’s Road border, with officers making sure all travellers are following the rules.

Police are doing compliance and border pass checks, with motorists warned to expect lengthy delays.

“The current situation for COVID on the Gold Coast is one that we’ve been preparing for, for two years,” District Acting Chief Superintendent Rhys Wildman said on Friday.

“We are prepared and we are ready to deal with this and keep our community safe as we’ve done over the last nearly two years,”

The rules differ depending on where travellers are arriving from.

Those who have been in a ‘hotspot’ such as Sydney and Melbourne within the last 14 days must be fully vaccinated, must have an entry pass, along with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and they must agree to get another test on day five following their arrival.

However, those who are not fully vaccinated will need to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine upon arrival into the sunshine state.

For those entering Queensland from a ‘green zone’, an area that is not declared as a hotspot, there are no restrictions upon entry, provided you receive a border entry pass prior to arrival.

You must apply for and receive an entry pass to enter Queensland from anywhere in Australia, including from within green zones.

Residents living in the declared ‘border zone’ will be able to move freely across the border provided they are vaccinated and have a valid border pass.

Australian citizens or permanent residents – or immediate family members can arrive directly into Queensland via Brisbane International Airport.

You must be fully vaccinated and have a negative result within 72 hours before departure.

Home quarantine must be conducted within a two-hour drive of the airport. Anyone else in the property at the time must also complete quarantine and have at least one dose of a vaccine.

If you are arriving from overseas via another state or territory you must be fully vaccinated and undertake the Queensland-specified period of quarantine under the direction of another state or territory at home or in a government-nominated facility.

If you arrive into Australia via an interstate COVID-19 hotspot, you’ll need to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine when you arrive in Queensland.

“Well done to Queensland … Thank you to everyone who got their jab,” Scott Morrison tweeted.

Queensland has also unveiled plans to reduce quarantine requirements for contacts of known COVID-19 cases and cleaning requirements for businesses.

From 1st January, 2022, there are a number of eased COVID-19 contact restrictions.

Queensland’s New Covid-19 rules

Vaccinated Close Contacts

  • Home quarantine for seven days and get tests on days one and five
  • Can leave quarantine if they test negative on day five
  • Wear a face mask and don’t visit high-risk settings until day 14

Unvaccinated Close Contacts

  • Home quarantine for 14 days and get tested on days one, five and 12
  • Fully vaccinated household contacts of close contacts
  • No quarantine, but get tested on days one and five

Unvaccinated Household Contacts of Close Contacts

  • Home quarantine for seven days and get tests on days one and five
  • If you test negative on day five leave quarantine
  • Wear a face mask and don’t visit high-risk settings until day 14

Casual Contacts

  • No quarantine required but must get tested immediately and isolate until they get a negative result, wearing a face mask outside home recommended for 14 days
  • Businesses that are visited by active COVID-19 cases and listed as exposure sites
  • Close premises for a standard clean, but no deep-clean required


  • A close contact is a anyone who’s had at least 15 minutes face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case in the business or venues
  • Vaccinated is anyone who is more than seven days after their first dose
  • Household contacts are people residing in same dwelling overnight, including intimate partners
  • Tests must be PCR tests

Image: Sunrise 

This article first appeared on Over60.