Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed that the entire Greater Brisbane area will be placed under a snap three-day lockdown from 5pm today, after the state recorded four new cases of community COVID transmission overnight.

A total of 10 new cases of COVID were recorded in the state in the past 24 hours, with six of those coming from international arrivals. Of the four community transmission cases, two are reportedly of unknown origin for the time being. Investigators are currently searching for possible links in those two cases.

From 5pm this afternoon, the local council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands will go under full lockdown, with all schools to close from tomorrow. Face masks will be required in public indoor settings, and restaurants, cafes, and pubs will be restricted to take away service only. Residents in the region will only be permitted to leave the house for one of the four essential reasons: shopping for essentials, exercise with family groups, seeking health care, and travelling to school or work if it can’t be conducted at home.

In addition, face mask requirements will be extended to the entire state, and indoor gatherings for all Queenslanders will be restricted to 30 people. This follows after one positive case travelled to Gladstone during their infectious period, Palaszczuk confirmed.

Premier Palaszczuk also confirmed that the cases of community transmission are the more infectious UK strain of COVID, and that two positive cases were in Byron Bay, NSW during their infectious period.

“We need to do this now to avoid a longer lockdown… We need to do this – this will also enable our health authorities to get on top of the contact tracing,” Palaszczuk stated a short time ago.

“This is a huge job now that we have to do because we’ve got more of this community transmission. I know this will mean some disruption to people’s lives but we’ve done this before and we’ve got through it over those three days in the past and if everyone does the right thing I’m sure that we will be able to get through it again.”

People who ordinarily reside outside of the Greater Brisbane area but have travelled in to it since March 20th are also being urged to return home observe the hard lockdown protocols; only leaving the house for one of four essential reasons.

Palaszcuk asserted that the Queensland Government will be declaring the Greater Brisbane area a hotspot, and she urged all other state and territory leaders to follow suit, which they likely will.

QLD Health officials are this morning establishing contact with their NSW counterparts to discuss the implications of the two positive cases visiting Byron Bay.