Brisbane lockdown extended, as NT and WA consider lifting restrictions

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A shot of the Brisbane River. Source: Brisbane Local Marketing.

Businesses in Brisbane and Moreton Bay will remain in lockdown for another 24 hours, while the Northern Territory lockdown will end today and an announcement will be made soon about the lockdown in Western Australia.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Friday morning the extension following the detection of three more cases of community transmission in Queensland on Thursday.

However, the three-day lockdown will end at 6pm on Friday evening for other parts of Queensland, including Noosa, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Palm Island and Townsville. 

Residents in those areas will be subject to some restrictions for the following two weeks, including mask wearing and seated eating and drinking at hospitality venues. 

The extension of the lockdown in Brisbane and Moreton Bay will likely intensify calls from the Queensland small business community for government support to help recover from this lockdown, which has coincided with school holidays. 

The Queensland government has yet to announce any financial support for businesses affected by the lockdown, despite the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland urging the state government to roll out grants of up to $25,000 to cover stock and trading losses. 

Meanwhile, the lockdowns in the Greater Darwin region and Alice Springs will be lifted at 1pm (ACST) today.

More than 3,500 tests were carried out in the NT yesterday and they all came back negative, said Chief Minister Michael Gunner during a press conference on Friday. 

On Thursday, WA Premier Mark McGowan said the next 24 hours will be critical in determining whether the state can also lift its restrictions. An update is expected later on Friday. 

The Premier urged WA residents to continue to come forward to get tested, even if that meant being tested multiple times. 

“I’d like to appeal to every West Australian that we need you to get tested if you are experiencing symptoms, if you have been to an exposure site, even if you have already tested negative,” he said. 

New South Wales recorded 31 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, as its lockdown continues, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday the government expects to see the number of cases increase over coming days. 

“Thirteen of those cases were active in the community, and I do want to stress that this pretty much reflects the days just before, and the day when we went into lockdown, so what we say today is a lag of the last couple of days before we went into lockdown,” she said. 

“Hopefully early next week we should see the impact of the lockdown really turning and having a positive impact,” she added. 

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