News National Queensland COVID outbreak sparks fears of Easter travel restrictions

Queensland COVID outbreak sparks fears of Easter travel restrictions

Masks are back in fashion in Brisbane amid the latest COVID eruption. Photo: AAP
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Dozens of close contacts of two new Brisbane coronavirus cases are awaiting COVID-19 test results as concerns grow about interstate travel restrictions a week before Easter.

Queensland health authorities revealed on Saturday night the latest man to test positive hosted a house party for about 25 guests before his result came back, ignoring a direction to self-isolate.

The 26-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday night, one day after his friend, who had been infectious for a week.

All party guests have been ordered into quarantine and are being tested.

Queensland Health are also tracking down people who may have come into contact with the men at 24 exposure sites and asking them to isolate and get tested.

The infections have sparked speculation of an imminent snap lockdown and travel restrictions ahead of the Easter break when Australians are expected to flock to the Sunshine State.

However Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there was no evidence of widespread community transmission.

“We are very comfortable where things are at the moment, and Queensland is responding incredibly well, so if everyone keeps up their testing and the contact tracing we’re very comfortable with where we are,” she told reporters.

The cluster has sparked a lockdown of Brisbane City and Moreton Bay council area hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons and disability services providers.

NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT have also declared those two council areas as hotspots and all travellers arriving from there must self-isolate and get tested upon arrival.

Tasmania is only warning Brisbane and Moreton Bay travellers to get tested if they become ill, while South Australia and the Northern Territory have not changed their travel rules.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged states and territories to be balanced and “proportionate” in their response to the outbreak.

He says the ongoing vaccine rollout has changed “risk calculations” and he’s confident the Queensland government has control of the situation.

“The economic recovery we’re seeing in Australia now is leading the world, and we want to keep that happening, and we don’t want to prevent that from happening by any possible disproportion or overreaction in response” Mr Morrison told reporters.

“The Queensland government’s got this, they’ve got a strong tracing system, they’ve got a very strong public health system there in Queensland. I have a lot of faith in that, I’ve seen it in action before, and I think we’ve got to backup people to keep this under control, and I have no doubt the Queensland government will do that.”

The Brisbane cluster has also put a number of Easter sporting fixtures in doubt amid concerns about travel restrictions.

Melbourne’s Good Friday NRL clash with Brisbane is under a cloud while the Gold Coast Suns return to Queensland is up in the air.

The Victorian government’s new rules caused a stir at the Suns’ AFL match in Geelong on Friday night, where some fans and commentators who had been in Brisbane in the past fortnight were ordered to leave mid-match.

The Lions’ AFLW team are also in Victoria and are due to play Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon.

Canterbury are already in Brisbane for their NRL clash with the Broncos on Saturday night, while Parramatta have been there since March 12.

Potential COVID contamination sites

Visitors to the following venues at these specified times, as identified by Queensland Health, must isolate for 14 days and get tested:

* Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre, 12pm-2.16pm
* Black Hops Brewery, East Brisbane, 12:22pm-1:51pm
* Green Beacon brewing Co, Teneriffe, 2pm-3:12pm
* Market Organics, Newmarket, 2:45pm-3pm
* Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill, 3:44pm-5:30pm
* Baskin-Robbins, Everton Park, 9.20pm-9.25pm
Sunday, March 21
* Gasworks, Newstead, 9.50am-10.20am
* Genki Mart, Alderley, 10:30am-10:46am
* Mama’s Italian restaurant, Redcliffe, 12.20pm-3.10pm
Monday, March 22
* PCYC Lawnton, 7:16am-8:10am
* Bunnings, Stafford, 12.40pm-12.50pm
* Bunnings, Lawnton, 3:15pm-3:30pm
* Strathpine Plaza Shopping Centre, Strathpine, 3.43pm-3.49pm
Tuesday, March 23
* Zambrero, Lawnton, 12:51pm-12:55pm
* Lawnton Fruit Market, Lawnton, 1.57pm-2.05pm
* Nellas Gourmet Tucker, Lawnton, 3:37pm-3:47pm
* Poolwerx, Strathpine 3.52pm-3.57pm
* Dan Murphy’s, Strathpine, 7:26pm-7:36pm
* Hungry Jacks drive through, Strathpine, 7:47pm
Wednesday, March 24
* Lawton Country Markets, 2.36pm-2.43pm Thursday, March 25
* Aldi, Stafford, 8.30am-8:45am
* Nundah Village Family Practice, Nundah, 11.15am-11.40am.
* BWS, Strathpine, 6:15pm-6:30pm
* Ceres Pizza Cafe, Strathpine, 7.00pm-7.58pm