The Queensland government has cancelled this year’s schoolies week on the Gold Coast, amid a crackdown sparked by a spike in coronavirus cases.
There were three more COVID infections in Queensland on Friday, two on the Gold Coast.
All are linked to a trainer at corrective services who tested positive earlier this week.
COVID cases also spiked in NSW on Friday, with 13 more confirmed. Six were connected to the Sydney CBD cluster at the City Tattersall’s Club, which has grown to 14.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said the CBD outbreak had grown “significantly”.
There are further cases linked to the cluster confirmed after NSW Health’s 8pm COVID-19 reporting cut-off, which will be reported on Saturday’s update.
Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 113 more infections and 12 more deaths on Friday as it approached the likely final fortnight of its tough COVID shutdowns.
The figures brought the state’s toll from the pandemic to 496, and the national toll to 583.
Victoria’s daily COVID case growth has fallen steadily this week – Friday is the sixth day of new cases below 150.
Back in Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said two of Friday’s cases were at Pimpama on the Gold Coast. The other was from Forest Lake in Brisbane.
She said all 25 people deemed close contacts of the trainer had returned negative results.
The escalation of infections has prompted chief health officer Jeannette Young to impose stricter gathering restrictions on the Gold Coast, limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to just 10 people.
She also deemed the November schoolies celebration too risky.
“We’ve had to make a really tough decision about schoolies,” she said.
“I personally feel for this group. They’ve had a really difficult year. This is a rite of passage.”
Beach-side concerts and the other big events usually held within Surfers Paradise during schoolies have also been banned.
The updated gathering restrictions will remain until December 11, after the Schoolies period.
Ms Palaszczuk said the decision had been tough, but she hoped school leavers understood the seriousness of the situation.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it is a tough decision but concerts and organised events will be banned this year.
“This is a mass event,” she said.
“It poses high risk. High risk, not only the people who attend, all the young people, but also all the people they come in contact with, and of course their families and their friends and their grandparents,” she said.
The new restrictions are effective from 8am on Saturday.
As with Greater Brisbane, gatherings inside and outside people’s homes will be limited to 10 people.
“We know that people travel a lot from the Gold Coast to Brisbane so now it makes absolutely perfect sense to extend that,” she said.