On Friday morning, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Brisbane and its surrounds will go into a three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight (Friday January 8) to 6pm Monday (January 11).
The lockdown will apply to Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands.
Residents are permitted to leave home only for one of the following four reasons: for essential work, to give or receive healthcare, for “exercise in your local neighbourhood” and for essential shopping. Anyone who can work from home is encouraged to do so.
“This is very serious,” said Palaszczuk at a press conference this morning. “As I said, doing three days now could avoid 30 days or longer in the future.”
She has also encouraged testing. “We would like to see more people tested if they have any symptoms.”
Masks are mandatory for residents leaving their homes for any of the four reasons. Children under 12 are exempt.
Cafes and restaurants will be open for takeaway only. There is a limit of two visitors in homes for giving or receiving support, and people are allowed to exercise with one other person. Funerals will be restricted to 20 people and weddings to 10.
Palaszczuk has also declared greater Brisbane a hotspot, and it’s expected other states will follow.
The lockdown is a response to the detection in Brisbane of the more infectious UK strain of the coronavirus. This comes after a cleaner working in hotel quarantine contracted this new strain and was in the community for five days.
The premier acknowledged that this will affect people’s holiday plans, saying: “If you are in Brisbane, in those greater Brisbane areas and you may have planned a vacation over this weekend ... you will not be able to go. You will have to reschedule until Tuesday.”
People who live in greater Brisbane but who are currently elsewhere in the state can return home but must quarantine once there.
The three-day lockdown also applies to anyone who has been to the greater Brisbane area since January 2 but has since moved elsewhere in the state.
Queensland’s health minister Yvette D’ath said: “If you are a local resident but have gone off holidaying in the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast or Cairns, please stay where you are for three days and do not move around your area. If you are someone who’s been travelling through, again, we ask that you take this advice and you remain isolated for the next three days … If you are anywhere in Queensland, or you are interstate and you have been in the greater Brisbane area since January 2 and you have any symptoms whatsoever, we ask for you to come out and be tested.”
More information on Queensland border restrictions and travel permits here.
A list of testing sites in Queensland can be found here.