All truck drivers entering Queensland from another state, along with those entering on a freight pass, must be vaccinated with at least one dose under new regulations announced by the Palaszczuk Government on Tuesday.
Under the changes, all truck drivers and those using the freight pass must have at least one dose of a COVID vaccine by 15 October and have their second dose (or a booking) by 15 November.
Freight drivers entering Queensland from anywhere will also be required to produce a negative COVID test result at the border from within a seven-day period and maintain a seven-day rolling test regime while operating in the state.
The decision coincides with a recent announcement by the Western Australian Government to compel all transport workers entering the state to receive a second dose by Christmas Eve.
In Tugun, a dedicated pop-up vaccination clinic will be established near the Queensland-New South Wales border to support the new vaccination rules for truck drivers.
“Freight workers and truck drivers are absolutely essential to keeping food on the table and rebuilding our economy,” said QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Due to the nature of their work, we know that many freight workers and truck drivers are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. That’s why we’re ramping up our vaccination rollout and making it quicker and easier for truck drivers crossing through the Gold Coast border to get vaccinated,” she said.
“Many drivers are already vaccinated – but for those that aren’t, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to get the jab.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the Gold Coast pop-up vaccination clinic was being established near the border at Tugun – in a location with plenty of parking and turnaround areas for trucks.
“With the Delta variant on our doorstep, we need to get as many Queenslanders as possible vaccinated quickly and safely,” she said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey thanked truck drivers for doing their part to keep Queenslanders safe.
“The freight industry has continued to step up to meet the additional requirements that have been asked of them since the pandemic began, and we know we’re asking more of them again to help us stop Delta from coming to Queensland,” he said.
“Our big rig COVID-19 testing clinics at Boondall and Goondiwindi have worked really well so adding a pop-up vaccination clinic for truckies further strengthens our health response,” said Bailey.
“We have been working with industry to get the balance of these new regulations right, so I thank them for their efforts and ongoing support through these challenging times.”