Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed that much of the state will enter a snap three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight in a bid to go “hard and fast” at emerging COVID-19 concerns in the state.

The lockdown area will cover all of south-east Queensland – the 11 LGAs that were placed under tighter restrictions yesterday, including Greater Brisbane – as well as Townsville City, Palm Island, and Magnetic Island.

Today’s announcement follows confirmation that two new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the state across the past 24 hours. One of those cases, a 19-year-old casual clerical worker at the Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside, is reportedly of particular concern to health authorities.

Per Palaszczuk, the woman works as a receptionist outside a COVID ward at the hospital, and visited a Woolworths and a gym while potentially infectious. She is also said to have flew with her family from her home in Sandgate to Magnetic Island, and attended Sunday markets in Townsville, before flying back to Brisbane. One close friend of the woman is reportedly unwell and is undergoing testing, as are two of her immediate family members. It is understood that, despite working in the health industry, the woman had not yet been vaccinated.

On that, Palaszczuk was remarkably forthright in asserting “I am absolutely furious about this. We need to make sure that we are getting our population vaccinated, right across the state.”

Announcing the lockdown, Palaszczuk asserted that “This leaves us with no option,” and that “we need to go hard and we need to go fast.”

“We have got to do this for three days, there will be a lockdown for three days and I don’t want it to be 30 days,” the Premier stated.

The 11 LGAs included in the SE Queensland region include Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Redlands, Logan, Moreton, Noosa, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, and Somerset. Those regions were yesterday ordered to wear masks outside of the home in situations where social distancing was not possible.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young stated that details on the 19-year-old woman’s movements were still being investigated, but that the following locations and times had so far been identified as possible exposure sites:

  • Woolworths Sandgate: Sunday June 20, 9:30am – 10:30am
  • The Bay Health Club: Sunday June 20, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Virgin Australia flight VA369, Brisbane to Townsville: Thursday June 24, 10:10am – 12:15pm
  • Townsville City Markets: Sunday June 27, 11:00am – 12:00pm
  • Virgin Australia flight VA374, Townsville to Brisbane: Sunday June 27, 1:18pm – 2:55pm

Full lockdown details, including what residents can and can’t do, are expected to be provided by the Queensland Government in the coming hours. Keep an eye on the Government’s COVID-19 information page for updates.

Image: Getty Images / Jono Searle