Economy

Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection”

Australia's third-largest city, Brisbane, will lock down for three days from Friday after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the highly contagious British variant of COVID-19.

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in South Australia however all are in hotel quarantine.

Today the state has recorded nine new cases - all in hotel quarantine - from more than 13,000 tests.

Before the announcement, Brisbane was among several Australian cities enjoying a relative return to normality during the southern hemisphere summer.

"I know they will be some in Brisbane today asking "why is this necessary?"

"It only takes one case". Well, this isn't any ordinary case.

All Australians heading on a flight back to the motherland will now have to test negative for the coronavirus before they step on the plane.

Ms Berejiklian said the state is stepping up its response to overseas variants of COVID-19 with new protocols introduced for returned overseas travellers.

"It is incredibly important in this time to stop the spread of this infectious United Kingdom strain, we must act immediately, we must act strongly and we have taken those strong measures today".

Coles Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindells said the health and safety of customers and team members remained Coles' top priority with all staff within the hotspot required to wear masks.

More news: Quebec COVID curfew raises concerns over enforcement, profiling, advocates say

Other states, however, have enforced far more stringent restrictions.

As a result of these imported cases and associated fears of the variant's spread from NSW to other parts of the country, Australia's National Cabinet has resolved to limit the number of passengers allowed on worldwide flights.

If you are a child under 12 you do not have to wear a mask.

Palaszczuk added funerals will be limited to 20 people, weddings to 10, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide takeaway services, while cinemas, entertainment and recreation venues, gyms and places of worship will be closed.

So far, 79 close contacts have been identified from the women and the new restrictions will see "everything on hold" until 6pm Monday.

Following the infection in Brisbane, Prime Minister Morrison announced new travel measures in a bid to curb the spread of more infectious strains of COVID-19 in the community, including flight crews now subject to stricter conditions and testing.

But recent outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne had forced travel across state borders to be tightly restricted again amid mounting pressure on officials to hasten the vaccine's rollout.

On Thursday, Morrison announced plans to bring forward the planned vaccine rollouts by weeks.

Fears that a more contagious variant of COVID-19 being reported in Britain could spread to Australia prompted an emergency meeting of state and territory leaders on Friday in order to bolster the country's worldwide arrivals process.



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