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NRL fans praying COVID won’t stop grand final

The rabbitohs have beaten the odds to make the grand final. But can they beat a COVID lockdown? Photo: Getty
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Queenslanders are hoping to avoid a lockdown as the state kicks off a long weekend at the tail end of school holidays, with the NRL grand final scheduled for Sunday in Brisbane.

High testing rates and contact tracing is being relied on to avoid tighter restrictions, but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told residents a lockdown continues to be a possibility.

“If we do see any unlinked community transmission, I’m quite sure that (Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young) will not hesitate to recommend a lockdown,” she told reporters on Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk has consistently rejected the idea that high-profile sporting events play any role in the state’s approach to managing the virus.

“Can I just make it very clear, if the advice is to go into lockdown, we will go into lockdown,” she said.

It all depends …

“It’s going to depend (on) whether we see any unlinked community transmission over the next 24 to 48 hours.”

There are now eight cases connected to the “aviation” cluster, with another four separate single-person cases across the southeast and Townsville in the state’s north.

Dr Young said her main concern was a man who was infectious in the community on the Gold Coast between Saturday and Wednesday.

“Anyone who has been to any of the venues or anywhere in that part of the Gold Coast over the last week, if you’ve got any symptoms at all now is the time to really please come forward and get tested,” she said.

Stage-two restrictions are current in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island regions.

Capacity at Suncorp Stadium has been reduced to 75 per cent for the NRL decider between the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs on Sunday night.

-AAP