WA on alert as mutant COVID-19 strain forces Brisbane into lockdown
WA’s border restrictions with Queensland will be reviewed, after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane tested positive for the UK strain of the virus forcing parts of the state into lockdown.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the three day lockdown for the Greater Brisbane area this morning, which is set to come into effect from 6pm.
“We need to do this … if we do not do this now it could end up being a 30 day lockdown,” she said.
Residents can only leave home for essential work, shopping, exercise or to care for a vulnerable person.
Masks will be mandatory for Brisbane and surrounding regions.
The sunshine state has had no locally acquired cases reported since yesterday, but more people are expected to be tested today after a list of locations the woman visited was released yesterday afternoon.
“I know this is going to be tough on businesses over the next few days, but I am thinking about your long term futures,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
It is the first time in the nation a person has been out in the community while unknowingly ill with the highly-infectious strain.
WA’s border is closed to NSW and Victoria, but quarantine-free travel is allowed for the rest of the nation.
Premier Mark McGowan says health authorities will review the situation in Queensland before making a decision on the border.
“As we have previously done in these situations, we’ll monitor the situation in Queensland very closely and our Chief Health Officer will liaise with the health experts over there to provide us with up-to-date and informed advice,” he said.
“It’s important we have all the relevant information and understand the risk of community transmission in Queensland.
“Under our controlled interstate border, changes can be implemented swiftly if that is what’s required based on the health advice.”
National Cabinet will meet this morning amid concerns over the UK strain of the virus.
New rules for international travellers and the vaccine rollout will be key topics of discussion.
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