Greater Brisbane will lock down for three days from 5pm this afternoon after 10 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the state overnight, with the state’s top doctor saying there is now ‘significant’ community transmission.
Greater Brisbane will lock down for three days from 5pm this afternoon after 10 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the state overnight.
Four of the new cases were locally acquired and one of them had travelled to Gladstone from March 25 to 28.
One of the cases is believed to be a nurse from the PA Hospital. She has been on leave and has not received a COVID-19 vaccination.
The lockdown means schools will close, except to vulnerable children, or the children of essential workers, and face masks will be mandatory, although not while driving.
“Our schools will close from tomorrow,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It will enable our health authorities to get on top of the contact tracing.
“I know this will mean some disruption to people’s lives. But we’ve done this before.
“Let’s do it now and let’s do it right.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she was very worried.
“I didn’t sleep last night, I am very worried, very concerned,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said it was a tough decision with Easter and the school holidays on the horizon.
The lockdown will include Moreton Bay, Logan, Redlands and Ipswich.
People can leave home for essential work, to look after a vulnerable person, for exercise and to buy food. They have been urged not to panic buy.
Ms Palaszczuk confirmed Queensland’s latest cluster was the highly contagious UK variant and said the lockdown was the “right thing to do based on the health advice”.
Chief Health Officer JeannetteYoung said the sister of the Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse had also acquired the infection.
“We now have significant community transmission,” she said.
Two colleagues of the second new case announced on Saturday have tested positive.
Dr Young said one of those people were in Gladstone for three days while infectious.
Officials are looking into how two other people, who have recently been in Byron Bay, also acquired the virus.
It means the new Brisbane cluster has grown to seven people.
Dr Young said anyone who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since March 20 was urged to follow the lock down restrictions, even if they are outside the region.
Gathering numbers at homes will be slashed to 30 people.
Everyone outside of the Greater Brisbane area is being urged to wear a mask when they cannot socially distance.
There have been more than 11,000 tests in the 24 hours to this morning.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said mask wearing in the Greater Brisbane area would be mandatory, but has urged people not to confront people who are not wearing one, saying that should be left to the compliance officers.
“We want everyone to do their part. It is mandatory unless you have a health reason to not wear that mask,” she said.
Ms D’Ath said contract tracers were working hard to get information about where the latest cases may have visited while unknowingly infectious with the virus.
Ms Palaszczuk said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had accepted her request to halve the numbers of international arrivals into Queensland, based on the cluster.
She said lockdowns would continue to be a part of the Australian way of life until the population was vaccinated.
“Hopefully, fingers crossed, like our last three-day lockdown, it gave our contract tracers the ability to get on top of everything,” she said.