Friday, 16 April, 2021

Australia's Brisbane lifts snap virus lockdown ahead of Easter

People walk past Flinders Street Station during a Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne last year People walk past Flinders Street Station during a Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne last year
Cary Erickson | 03 April, 2021, 13:35

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would raise the high numbers of overseas-acquired cases in national cabinet next week.

The Queensland outbreak has jumped the border, with a case in neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) prompting the cancellation of the popular Bluesfest music festival in the coastal tourist town of Byron Bay and the reintroduction of mobility curbs in four council areas in the north of the state.

Restaurants and bars in Greater Brisbane are now open for business, but diners need to remain seated to eat.

Masks will remain mandatory in indoor settings such as shopping centres, supermarkets, indoor workplaces and public transport across the state until April 15.

The premier has described the discovery of the missing link between cases as "fantastic news".

That takes the latest Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse cluster to 12 cases.

'Well, I can thank Queenslanders because they have come out in their thousands to be tested'.

"Queenslanders, what a great effort - 35,357 tests in the past 24 hours".

Ms Stephen-Smith said testing had returned to normal levels after a spike earlier in the week.

Queensland Health have meanwhile said Anzac Day events will go ahead in the state on April 25 as long as they are Covid-safe.

Church services will be allowed to have 100% occupancy with ticketed or allocated seating or adhering to the one person per 2 spare metre rule.

Chief medical officer Jeannette Young said a nurse caught the virus from a colleague, who got it from an Australian returning from Europe who was hospitalised.

Australian officials lift Brisbane lockdown as Covid-19 cases dwindle
People from Greater Brisbane will again be able to travel to the ACT without filling out a declaration or receiving an exemption. ACT Health has warned people to be vigilant when travelling over Easter and be aware of restrictions in other jurisdictions.

"As soon as we heard that the confinement was lifted, we thought - "Get back out there and start looking after the community", said Ms Smith.

"Which is what we know COVID does".

There are now 82 active cases in Queensland hospitals.

Any workers who set foot inside the ward from March 23 to 26 have also been ordered into two weeks of quarantine, even if they weren't directly involved in patient care.

A "large number of staff" at the inner-city hospital will have to self-isolate, an internal hospital email said.

One discreet clue on the Queensland Health website meanwhile has hinted Brisbane's lockdown be could extended until Tuesday.

There are now more than 2700 close contacts related to the two clusters but not all are in quarantine.

People walk past Flinders Street Station during a Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne a year ago.

Fears were growing the lockdown in Queensland could continue, with a seemingly insignificant paragraph on the state's official health website appearing to indicate the lockdown could last an extra five days.

Most cases are now in Brisbane or regional hospitals, including on the Gold Coast, at Toowoomba, and Bundaberg.

The following locations have been listed by Queensland Health as casual contacts.

Almost 2,000 people are isolating at home after being identified as close contacts of the two clusters, Ms Palaszczuk said.