States react as Brisbane becomes ‘high risk area’
Travel plans in and out of Queensland have been cast into chaos after a three-day lockdown on Greater Brisbane was issued following a positive case of the mutated UK strain of coronavirus.
Several states and territories across Australia have introduces new restriction for people who are travelling, or who have previously travelled, from Greater Brisbane after the city was declared a national COVID-19 hotspot.
People who have been to Greater Brisbane will be made to self-isolate.
"What we have immediately put in place is that anyone who has departed, left, worked, or been in those areas since January 2 and have subsequently come into NSW, are obliged to self isolate or basically have the same application of the stay-at-home order," NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said.
"That means they can only do essential tasks such as going out for exercise, but they need to wear a mask, and they need to keep away from others, they obviously have to attend essential healthcare and other essential things."
She also said those people would be advised not to go to aged care facilities.
People travelling to Victoria from Queensland have been told to sit tight pending advice set to be issued later today.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said local authorities were in talks with their Queensland counterparts after the three-day lockdown was announced.
Mr Andrews said the detail of the Brisbane situations was still being worked through, and said he would have advice for Victorians planning to either travel to Queensland or return home later today.
The Premier said there was a degree of confidence around the Brisbane situation because the lockdown had been limited to the city and not extended to the entire state.
As of midnight on Friday, anyone coming into SA from Greater Brisbane must complete 14 days of quarantine.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall also announced anyone who entered the state from the Greater Brisbane area from January 2 will be required to get tested.
"Premier Palaszczuk has asked all other states to declare those areas as a hotspot and we have agreed to that on a national basis," he said.
"Anybody who has been in the Greater Brisbane area will receive an SMS message from SA Health today requiring them to go and get themselves tested.
"We will clearly be looking very closely at this case over the next three days."
Western Australia has slammed the border shut to Queensland from midnight tonight, Premier Mark McGowan has announced.
Travel from Queensland to the state is only permitted with a police exemption. Exempt travellers would need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The more than 7000 arrivals from Queensland since January 2 have been directed to self-quarantine for 14 days and must be tested for coronavirus by Tuesday.
About 1400 passengers on seven flights from Queensland are due to arrive at Perth Airport today. They will be directed to self quarantine for 14 days and to be tested on day 11.
Mr McGowan said recent arrivals from Queensland were free to leave WA immediately, as long as they advise police of their travel plans.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who is currently in Queensland, took to social media to announce the changes that all travellers from the Greater Brisbane area must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival "effective immediately".
"Throughout this pandemic we warned that things could change quickly … and once again, they have," he wrote on Facebook.
Mr Gunner said the decision supported the "rapid action" of the Queensland Government as it tries to contain the spread of the mutant strain.
"Unfortunately right now there are incoming flights from Brisbane about to land in Yulara and in Darwin.
"People on these flights will be given the option of returning to Brisbane or entering mandatory quarantine."
Any travellers arriving into the state from Friday who have been in the Greater Brisbane area since January 2 will need to quarantine for 14 days.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said residents of Greater Brisbane are now required to stay at home and must not travel.
"If they do not have a suitable premises, they will be placed into a government quarantine hotel," he said in a statement.
Mr Gutwein advised all travellers currently in the state who had been in the high risk area since January 2 to check the list of risk locations.
He also asked those who had been to any of the listed places at the allocated dates and times to self-isolate and contact the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test.
Travellers who recently entered from Queensland will receive an SMS on Friday with the advice.
Originally published as States react as Brisbane becomes 'high risk area'