Business needs urgent clarity on Queenslands confusing COVID plans

“Queensland businesses remain deeply confused by the state’s restrictive and unexplained COVID rules that lack clarity and common sense,” Rebecca Andrews, Queensland Head of the peak employer association Ai Group, said today.

“Businesses remain in the dark without any real direction on what to do if they experience a COVID outbreak once we reach 90% and what that means for their operations. For example: Do the current rules apply?; Will they need to close their business or just parts of it?; Will they be required to conduct a costly deep clean?; and how long do people need to be in quarantine?

“When Ai Group and our members have asked for clarity – we have been told that the current policy is a high-level overview of the planned measures and an initial guide for business and the community with details yet to come. To plan ahead, businesses need much greater clarity and guidance so that they can prepare for the future as rules change at various vaccination levels.

“Queensland is facing skill and labour shortages and yet is making the situation worse by putting up unnecessary barriers. The overly strict border rules are putting people off holidaying, relocating and returning home to the state, which will make our economic recovery from COVID much more difficult.

“This week’s confusion over PCR testing requirements at the border has thankfully been resolved but questions remain. PCR testing comes at a cost to travellers in time and inconvenience that could be overcome if Rapid Antigen Tests, approved by the TGA, were allowed as an alternative. Such tests are an effective and much cheaper option that would save the Commonwealth and Queensland unnecessary costs for a comparable outcome.

“We should be using all tools available to us in our kit bag, including Rapid tests, to help the community and business as we move towards living with COVID 19,” Ms Andrews said.

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