Queensland has recorded six new locally-acquired cases linked to an Indooroopilly High School student, prompting a three-day lockdown of a large section of the state.
From 4pm on Saturday, the local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim will go into the harshest restrictions the sunshine state has seen.
Residents in the affected lockdown areas can only leave home for essential work, study or childcare, to exercise, buy food and supplies, and to receive healthcare, including being tested for COVID-19 or vaccinated against it.
Any non-essential travel must be within 10km from home and everyone must wear a mask when they are outside their own home.
People doing exercise can do so with one person who does not live with them.
The six new cases are made up of four family members of the 17-year-old female Indooroopilly student, a medical student at the University of Queensland who tutors the teen and a staff member of the lronside State School.
Deputy premier Steven Miles announced the measures on Saturday morning saying: “All of the governments now of Australia now recognise that when dealing with the Delta strain, the only way is to go hard, go early.”
Funerals and weddings in the lockdown zone will be limited to 10 people and hospitality will go to takeaway only. Other non-essential businesses will have to close.
All schools in the lockdown zone will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, while all staff and students of Indooroopilly High School and Ironside State School are in quarantine for two weeks.
Schools will be open on Monday and Tuesday for the children of essential workers and for children who are vulnerable.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said she suspected the medical student who had tested positive could be the index case of the outbreak, and had likely brought the virus into the Indooroopilly high school student’s home.
The medical student has created a lot of new exposure sites, having visited a number of locations which are of concern to authorities, including a hospital and a university.
The medical student also has a sibling who works in a hospital.
“There are a lot of places she’s been,” Dr Young said.
She said that even though the lockdown was starting from 4pm, she hoped that people would cancel their sport or social gathering plans earlier than that.
Speaking on Sydney radio station 2GB on Saturday Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Queensland outbreak of Delta is concerning, and authorities need to move quickly to contain it.
“Once it gets going it is very hard to get back in the box as we are seeing in NSW,” he said.
Dr Young urged Queenslanders to do “the right thing” and not attend anti-lockdown protests, or risk the Delta variant getting out of control.
“I know that the vast majority of people will do the right thing. They have every single time … but it would only take a small number to do the wrong thing for this to get out of hand,” she said.
“So, yes, please don’t protest tomorrow. Protests are very, very important – I agree with protests, they are an important part of our democracy. But just don’t do it tomorrow. Could you wait until we’re not in lockdown and then have a protest?”
Exposure sites can be viewed at qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing