The new mask rule and some restrictions on businesses are in place for a further ten days in the council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, and Redlands.
Palaszczuk otherwise reported no new cases of community transmission, but there were four new cases confirmed in hotel quarantine—Emirates aircrew and passengers from the UAE. Two of them travelled from the UK, but it is unknown if they have the UK strain.
The three-day lockdown in the Greater Brisbane region came in response to a single case of the highly contagious UK strain of the virus, which was confirmed in a hotel quarantine cleaner.
The highly contagious case was potentially active in the community since Jan. 2, but no further locally acquired cases have yet been detected.
“Can I thank people in the greater Brisbane region for responding in the way that they did, it has been absolutely truly remarkable,” Palaszczuk said. “So, I can announce that the reward for their sacrifice is that we are able to end our lockdown.”
People living in the region will need to carry and wear a mask when indoors over the next ten days.
Masks will be required in supermarkets, shops, indoor markets, hospitals and aged care facilities, places of worship, libraries, indoor recreational facilities, such as cinemas and art galleries, and gyms.
However, people working in places where they can socially-distance do not have to wear masks, the premier said.
“As we know this UK variant, the reason why we did it (lockdown) and why we’re continuing to wear our masks in those public areas, is because this is a highly contagious strain, 70 percent more contagious, and we don’t want to see that in our community,” Palaszczuk said.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said contact-tracers have found 370 contacts of the quarantine hotel cleaner with 172 testing negative for the virus and the others still getting tested.
However, they’re racing to find “less risky contacts” who visited three venues at the same time as the woman in southern Brisbane last week.
They include Woolworths at Calamvale North between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Jan. 3, Coles Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown between 7.30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Jan. 5 and a Sunnybank Hills newsagent between 8 a.m. and 8.15 a.m. on Jan. 5.
“I’m not sure we’ve found everyone who attended those three venues yet,” Young said. “So it’s really important that anyone who has attended one of those three particular venues … comes forward as soon as possible.”
Young urged people to come forward and get tested, especially those from the suburbs of Calamvale North and Algester after 18,904 tests were conducted on Sunday.
“Please make sure if you’ve got any symptoms at all you come forward and if you’ve been in any of those venues during those timeframes, please come forward,” she said.