Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has made an announcement on the fate of NSW would-be travellers.
While the state recognised Sydney’s Northern Beaches as a hotspot, anyone travelling from other parts of Sydney or the state will still be allowed to enter.
The response has left Christmas plans for many Australians in tatters, but the Premier said she had no choice as the cluster from Sydney’s Northern Beaches rocketed to 28 on Friday.
“If people are from the Northern Beaches, it would be well advised for them to stay on the Northern Beaches,” she told reporters on Friday.
“When the NSW Premier says she is on high alert, we are on high alert as well.”
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The Northern Beaches has been declared a hot spot. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Ms Palaszczuk, who cut her holiday plans short to return and manage the escalating threat, said “we have come too far and sacrificed too much to risk going backwards”.
“We can’t afford to undo all that good work.”
The Sunshine State will enforce mandatory hotel quarantine from 1am Saturday for anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches region, while those who have already entered were told to isolate for 14 days from their last visit to the hotspot.
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said her team will continue to watch as the outbreak develops but was confident the targeted restriction would be sufficient following the success of shutting out Adelaide residents during its recent outbreak.
“We just have to continue to be really cautious,” she said.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation in the Northern Beaches and could well expand through other parts of Sydney.
“So here in Queensland, we have to be ready. Please, when you go to those venues that have QR codes or have processes to check contact details, it is critically important that you give them your contact details so that if we have something happen, we can immediately contact people and get on top of clusters as quickly as we can.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she is on high alert. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia
The update comes as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed a case linked to the Northern Beaches cluster travelled to Queensland on a domestic flight.
The woman, in her 50s, flew into Brisbane on Virgin flight VA925 landing about 9.30am on Wednesday, December 16.
She then booked a hire car and drove to Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane’s south and had lunch at the Glen Hotel at 11.30am.
The woman later travelled to the Sunshine Coast and stayed overnight at a hotel before returning to Brisbane on December 17 to get a test after a friend notified her of the outbreak in Sydney.
The woman is now self-isolating back on Sydney’s northern beaches after driving home following her test which came back positive on Thursday night.
Dr Young said the woman had been an “excellent individual” who left the state straight after her test.
“She got a hire car and drove straight down to Sydney,” she said.
“She did stop along the way but again she managed her interactions.”
Dr Young asked anyone who had been on the Virgin flight or visited the Glen Hotel at the same time as the woman to monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they developed.
Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Friday morning the number of cases linked to the cluster had shot from 17 to 28, following reports infections had spread to suburbs on the southern side of Sydney.
The Cronulla RSL was forced to close for 24 hours for thorough cleaning and was awaiting further advice from the NSW Health.
It comes as public spaces on Sydney’s northern beaches, including libraries, skate parks and golf courses, will be closed for three days as the council area grapples with the latest outbreak.
Northern Beaches Council issued the advice early on Friday which stated that it had taken “strong measures” to protect the health of the community.
The closure encompasses parks (with organised sport banned), libraries, aquatic centres, gyms, art galleries and creative spaces, playgrounds, skate parks, tennis courts, golf courses, community centres and several council-run offices.
All spaces will be closed until Monday.
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