Northern Beaches residents entering Queensland must pay for hotel quarantine from 1am on Saturday due to a large Covid-19 outbreak in the leafy area of Sydney.
People in Queensland who have been in the Northern Beaches since December 11 must immediately isolate at home for 14 days and get tested.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young brought in the rules on Thursday night after the Sydney cluster spread to 17 cases.
More than 250,000 residents from the Spit Bridge up to Palm Beach have been ordered to isolate immediately amid fears of a Victoria-style outbreak.
Officials say the strain of the virus is international but they don’t know how it got into the community with three cases first recorded on Wednesday.
The growing outbreak has put the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on high alert less than three weeks after she reopened her state’s border to Greater Sydney residents for the first time since August.
Queensland health officials are on high alert after a growing coronavirus outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches. Pictured are residents lining up to get tested at the Avalon Community Centre pop up health clinic in Sydney on Thursday
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has announced that anyone who have been in Sydney northern’s beaches since December 11 must self-isolate
Dr Young is expected to give an updated response on restrictions late on Friday morning.
Acting Queensland Premier Steven Miles, who is filling in while Ms Palaszczuk is on holiday, warned that the whole of Sydney may need to be shut out.
‘The chief health officer will need to consider whether other steps need to be in place,’ he told reporters on Thursday.
‘If NSW is able to contain this very quickly, then we hope there is no further action necessary.’
Sydney was first put on high alert on Wednesday when a 45-year-old man who transports flight crew from the airport tested positive.
Then a couple in their 60s and 70s from the Northern Beaches were also diagnosed.
The outbreak had soared to 17 by late Thursday afternoon, sparking strict new rules for anyone from NSW flying into Western Australia.
The West Australian government says anyone arriving from NSW is required to self-quarantine for 14 days and get tested on day 11.
WA leader Mark McGowan announced the changes on Thursday evening after receiving the latest advice from NSW.
An outbreak in Sydney northern beaches could ruin the Christmas travel plans for thousands of NSW and Queensland residents hoping to reunite with loved ones interstate. Pictured are residents living up to get tested in Avalon, Sydney on Thursday
Sydney’s northern beaches (pictured in red) will remain in lockdown until at least Sunday with 270,000 people asked to stay at home and avoid travel, amid fears the virus could spread across the whole city
‘I understand these changes will cause some frustration and uncertainty for some people,’ he said.
Tasmania has already moved to prevent people who visited high-risk locations in NSW from travelling there.
Northern Territory authorities said anyone from the northern beaches area travelling to the NT will need to undertake 14 days of mandatory, supervised quarantine in either Alice Springs or Darwin.
Victoria similarly told entrants to the state from the northern beaches that they must get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days.
Meanwhile, people in NSW are being urged not to travel to the northern beaches if they don’t have to.
Northern beaches residents have been told to keep to their household groups, and work from home if they can.
They have also been told to avoid unnecessary travel outside the region, and not to visit high-risk venues including clubs, restaurants, places of worship and gyms.
Residents in NSW and Victoria have not been welcome in Queensland for most of 2020 – with the borders now at risk of being shut again (pictured, a Santa Claus at Brisbane Airport on December 16)
The northern beaches cluster includes a residential aged care worker and a man who recently performed in a band at three RSL clubs, including in Avalon.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison is keen to have traffic flowing between the states despite the new virus cases in NSW.
Federal government frontbencher David Littleproud backed Queensland’s hotspot declaration for the Sydney virus outbreak, and called on WA to do the same.
‘You might be from Griffith and you want to see your family in Perth, you have no connection to this at all, and you are going to be locked out,’ he told the Nine Network.
‘We have to take a deep breath and just say to the WA government please follow the rest of the country here.’
Travel restrictions imposed by states before Christmas due to Northern Beaches Covid-19 outbreak
Western Australia – Anyone who enters WA from NSW must self-isolate for 14 days. Those already in WA must self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the date they were last on the northern beaches.
South Australia – Anyone in SA who has recently arrived from NSW should follow NSW Health advice by self-isolating for 14 days and getting tested if they have visited any of the venues on NSW’s health alert list.
Northern Territory – Anyone who enters NT from Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council area will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
Queensland – Anyone who enters Queensland and has been on Sydney’s northern beaches since December 11 must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days since their last visit to the region.
From Saturday, all people who have been on the northern beaches and want to enter Queensland will be forced into hotel quarantine and pay for it.
ACT – Anyone who enters the ACT and has been on Sydney’s northern beaches since December 11 must get tested and self-isolate.
Victoria – Anyone who enters Victoria from Sydney’s northern beaches must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.
Tasmania – Anyone who has visited the Northern Beaches Council area since December 11, as well as the Kirribilli Club, Penrith RSL and Gannons Park in Peakhurst at various times between December 11 and December 14, is barred from entering Tasmania.
Click here to see NSW places on alert