Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said that southeast Queensland, Townsville, Palm Island, and Magnetic Island will go into a three-day lockdown from 6 p.m. on Tuesday until 6 p.m. on Friday, July 2.
Residents in this area must stay at home unless leaving for one of the exempted reasons: essential education and work, obtain healthcare, providing care or support for a vulnerable family member, and for essential shopping or exercise outdoors.
Further restrictions include a maximum of 20 people at funerals, 10 at weddings (no dancing or singing), and limits of two people visiting homes.
Restaurants and cafes can only provide takeaways. Cinemas and entertainment and recreational venues are closed, as well as beauty salons and gyms.
Places of worship are also closed.
The lockdown covers residents of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, the Scenic Rim, the Gold Coast, Townsville, Magnetic Island, and Palm Island.
This comes after a young woman, aged 19, travelled to Townsville and Magnetic Island late last week while positive with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. She also visited a local Sunday market in Townsville.
One of her friends and two of her family members have become unwell and are also being tested for the virus, but it is not yet known if it is the more concerning Delta variant.
The young woman was tested on Monday and genomic testing is underway, but Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said she was infectious in the community since Saturday, June 19.
It’s not yet clear if she became infected at the hospital, or might have picked up the virus from another source. It’s also not yet known if she has the Delta variant, or possibly the Alpha variant which is also circulating in Brisbane.
The young woman works as a casual receptionist outside a COVID ward at the Prince Charles Hospital and was unvaccinated despite it being mandatory.
“Despite the health directives that she should have been vaccinated, she was not,” the premier told reporters on Tuesday.
She added, “Let me say, I am absolutely furious about this.”
Palaszczuk said she was left with no option but to impose the snap lockdown after recent developments, which include the outbreak linked to a Portuguese restaurant in Brisbane, the flight attendant from Sydney who travelled to Queensland multiple times, and now the risk of exposure in regional Queensland due to the hospital worker.
“We need to act quickly, we need to go hard, and we need to go fast,” Palaszcuk said, acknowledging the inconvenience of the lockdown during the school holiday period.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she would get the result of genome sequencing by the end of Tuesday or by Wednesday morning at the latest to work out how the young woman got the virus.
Young told reporters about a number of sites the young woman visited and said more detailed information would be updated online.
- Sandgate Woolworths, Sunday, June 20 – 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.
- Bay Health Gym, Sunday, June 20 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Prince Charles Hospital, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 and June 23 – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Brisbane Airport, Thursday, June 24 – 9 a.m.
- Virgin Australia flight VA369 Brisbane to Townsville, Thursday, June 24 – departing 10 a.m.
- Cafe Brewery Townsville Airport, Thursday, June 24
- Magnetic Island, Thursday 12 p.m. to Sunday, June 27 – 12 p.m.
- Townsville Sunday markets – late morning
- Virgin Australia flight VA374 Townsville to Brisbane – departing 2.55 p.m.
- Brisbane Airport, Sunday, June 27