News Coronavirus Premier calls an end to Brisbane’s snap lockdown

Premier calls an end to Brisbane’s snap lockdown

brisbane virus lockdown
Lifeguards at the closed Streets Breach on Brisbane's South Bank on Saturday. Photo: AAP
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The three-day coronavirus lockdown of Greater Brisbane will end as planned at 6pm on Monday (local time).

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who announced the decision on Monday morning, thanked Brisbane residents for their response to the snap lockdown.

“It has been absolutely truly remarkable,” she said.

“I can announce that the reward for their sacrifice is that we are able to end our lockdown after three days.”

The city-wide lockdown was imposed last week after it was confirmed a Brisbane hotel quarantine cleaner had tested positive for the virulent British variant of the virus.

Queensland had no community-acquired COVID infections on Monday – its third day in a row without new local cases. Ms Palaszczuk said she was “absolutely relieved” at the clean slate.

“This is the best news we could have hoped for. Absolutely the best news,” she said.

There were four more infections in hotel quarantine, including two in Emirates flight crew members.

Ms Palaszczuk said while the lockdown of the Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas would end as planned residents would have to follow tighter virus measures until at least January 22.

They include wearing masks in public indoor spaces, including shopping centres, hospitals, public transport and places of worship. Businesses will also be restricted to one person per four square metres.

“It is for 10 days only and then hopefully – if we get zero community transmission over those 10 days – then we can just go back to the rest of Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

She also confirmed the fourth cricket Test against India would go ahead at the Gabba, with the ground restricted to half its maximum capacity. Those who attend will have to wear masks while entering and leaving the ground, but not while in outdoor seating.

“If you are going along to the cricket, take your mask, put it on,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Most people will be coming by public transport anyway, where you will have to wear your mask.”

She said recent days had been extraordinary, but the lockdown had been designed to keep the British variant of the coronavirus out of the Queensland community.

“I honestly thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the work you have done. As I said, together we will get through this.”

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said nearly 700 contacts or close contacts of the cleaner had been tested for the virus. Of those, more than 300 negative test results had come back.

“I don’t think that everyone has come forward yet,” she said.

She also added three new “critical” venues to Queensland’s public health alerts:

  • Woolworths, Calamvale North, 11am-midday, January 3
  • Coles Sunnybank Hills, 7.30-8am, January 5
  • Nextra Sunnybank Hills newsagent, 8-8.15am, January 5

Anyone who has been to one of those outlets should get tested for the virus.

“It is really important that any one who has attended one of those three particular venues … to come forward as soon as possible,” Dr Young said.

Other states are yet to announce any changes to travel restrictions imposed because of the Brisbane lockdown. Dr Young said she would update the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on the Queensland situation later on Monday.