New South Wales has asked residents returning from Brisbane to self-isolate for two weeks after the UK strain of Covid-19 escaped from hotel quarantine.
Acting Premier John Barilaro said anyone who arrived in NSW from Brisbane after 12.01am on 2 January must stay at home for 14 days since they returned.
If they leave home for any of four permitted reasons such as shopping and exercise they must wear a mask.
New South Wales has asked residents returning from Brisbane to self-isolate for 14 days. Pictured: Testing in Merrylands, western Sydney
Mr Barilaro urged returning residents to make a note of any places that they stop at on the way home to help contact tracers in the event of a positive case.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory have declared Brisbane a hotspot and banned travel. The WA premier is expected to make a similar announcement at 12.45pm Sydney time.
Mr Barilaro dismissed any calls for NSW to shut the border with Queensland, saying: ‘At no point during this pandemic have we ever had a knee-jerk reaction or treated the border like a light switch.
‘What we do is work with our counterparts, offer support, because whatever happens in Queensland impacts NSW and any other state. We are all working together for the benefit of Australians and the citizens of this nation.’
There are 2.5 million people living in greater Brisbane with lockdown applying to the council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton, and Redlands
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has come under fire from LNP senator Gerard Rennick who said she has ‘lost the plot’ for such an extreme reaction to one case.
But NSW Health Minster Brad Hazzard declined to comment, saying: ‘We have been very careful hearing New South Wales not to either be critical or to make any negative comment about other states governments trying to manage this issue.
‘This is a virus with no playbook at each government does their best, given the advice of their public health teams.’
On Thursday New South Wales recorded four new local cases of coronavirus and seven in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Of the new local cases, one case remains under investigation. This is a man from the northern zone of the Northern Beaches first reported yesterday morning.
One is linked to the Croydon cluster, and is a close contact of a previously reported case, bringing the cluster to 11.
Two are linked to the Berala cluster, and are close contacts of previously reported cases, taking that cluster to 20.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the northern section of the Northern Beaches will come out of lockdown at 12.01am on Sunday as a cluster which emerged on 16 December appears under control.
Greater Brisbane will enter hard lockdown for three days as the city attempts to stop the spread of the more infectious UK strain of the virus after a hotel cleaner caught it from a returned traveller.
The news comes after the state reported on Thursday a Brisbane quarantine hotel cleaner been diagnosed with the UK variant, sending aged care homes across greater Brisbane into lockdowns (pictured, a testing centre in Murrarrie, Brisbane)
There are 2.5 million people living in greater Brisbane with lockdown applying to the council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton, and Redlands.
‘Think of it as a long weekend at home. We need to do this. I’ve accepted the strong advice from Dr Young,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
The mutated strain of Covid-19 is believed to be up to 70 per cent more infectious, worrying health authorities.
‘Please, everybody, let’s be in this together, let’s stay at home, look at it as a long weekend at home with your family and friends,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday residents will also have to wear face masks as part of the new measures