Brisbane to go into three-day lockdown after UK strain of COVID-19 detected

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Source: AAP/Darren England.

The greater Brisbane area will enter into a three-day lockdown from 6pm on Friday evening, after a hotel worker tested positive to a highly infectious mutant strain of COVID-19.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the new restrictions on Friday morning, which will apply to people living in Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands.

Residents in these areas will be required to stay home from 6pm this evening until 6pm on Monday. The only reasons residents will be permitted to leave home will be to attend essential work, provide healthcare for a vulnerable person, do essential shopping, or exercise in their neighbourhood.

Those who do leave their homes will be required to wear masks, but children under the age of 12 will be exempt.

“Think of it as a long weekend at home, we need to do this,” said the Premier.

“If we do not do this now it could end up being a 30-day lockdown.”

Restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to open for takeaway services only, and residents are being asked not to visit non-essential businesses such as hairdressers and nail salons.

Cinemas, gyms and other entertainment venues will close, while funerals will be limited to 20 people and weddings to 10 people over the three-day lockdown period.

Residents will be allowed to have two visitors to their homes, but Palaszczuk said these visitors would need to have a “good reason” to be there, such as supporting someone.

Individuals who have been in the greater Brisbane areas since January 2 but are now elsewhere in Queensland are also being asked to self-isolate for the next three days.

The New South Wales government has advised that anyone in the state who visited the greater Brisbane area since January 2 will now need to self-isolate until Monday evening.

The Northern Territory has declared the greater Brisbane area a hotspot and Tasmania has declared the area ‘high risk’. Travellers to those regions who have visited the Brisbane area since January 2 will need to enter quarantine. Victoria is expected to issue advice to travellers from Brisbane later on Friday.

Queensland recorded nine new cases of coronavirus overnight, with all cases in hotel quarantine.

The government said the hotel worker who contracted the UK strain of coronavirus was in the community for five days before testing positive and had visited train stations, supermarkets and a newsagency in the Sunnybank Hills, Algester, Calamvale and Brisbane CBD areas.

The hotel where they worked has been placed into lockdown and 79 close contacts have been identified.

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