Victoria has closed its borders to the greater Brisbane area, while Western Australia has closed to the whole of Queensland, as the state hurries to get on top of a highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.
Last night, Victorian authorities announced that anyone who has been in the greater Brisbane area from January 2 cannot enter the state without an exemption.
People who have already arrived in Victoria will be required to get tested and isolate until at least Monday, while residents are urged to reconsider travel to Queensland.
The National Cabinet has declared the greater Brisbane area a national hotspot after the discovery of the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19 in a quarantine hotel cleaner.
The greater Brisbane area is currently on lockdown until 6pm Monday January 11, and Victorians who are in or have visited the area are required to follow the advice of Queensland Health.
More info on Victoria’s current domestic travel restrictions can be found here.
Update on Queensland and domestic travel restrictions:
Victorians currently in Queensland who have visited, been in or travelled through Greater Brisbane must follow the advice of Queensland Health: https://t.co/XmRZTGbDpP
— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) January 8, 2021
Western Australia has thrown up a hard border with all of Queensland, with exemptions now required for entry, and exempt travellers required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Authorities in Queensland imposed a three-day lockdown, ending at 6pm on Monday, as they try and investigate whether and how far the UK strain has spread in the community.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath told reporters that there are “a lot of hypotheticals” about whether the greater Brisbane lockdown could be extended, saying:
“The best-case scenario is we get to 6pm on Monday and we’ve had no additional community cases. And we would love for that to be the result, and it means we can start moving out of restrictions much quicker. But of course, [the] worst-case scenario is we’re seeing broad community transmission, and [we’re] looking at everything that could be in between. Because it’s not just about the number of cases, it’s also about whether we can trace every one of those, whether there’s seeding happening, which means whoever’s got it is passing it on to other people in broader areas.”
Addressing the media this morning, QLD’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said that no new community cases were detected in the state from 14,784 tests in the last 24 hours.
91 identified close contacts of the infected hotel cleaner have tested negative, and will remain in quarantine for 14 days, however, authorities are still asking casual contacts to come forward.
People who attended any of the locations from Queensland Health’s list at the relevant dates and times has been urged to come forward and get tested, as has anyone experiencing symptoms.
Masks are currently mandatory at all times outside the home in greater Brisbane.
In the Greater Brisbane area for the period of the lockdown, face masks ???? must be worn at all times when you are outside of your home. pic.twitter.com/H1Y4uCuEEW
— Queensland Health (@qldhealthnews) January 8, 2021