Queensland has recorded no new Covid cases as the state remains on high alert for the highly contagious UK mutant strain.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed on Sunday that 147 close contacts of the hotel cleaner have now been identified with 112 returning a negative result.
The others are still waiting for their results, with officials refusing to rule out extending the lockdown – which expires at 6pm on Monday.
While the premier and the state’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young were pleased to report zero new cases, health authorities remain on high alert after another case of the UK strain was detected in a woman who flew from Melbourne to Brisbane on a Jetstar flight on January 5.
The premier thanked Greater Brisbane residents for doing the right thing and staying at home, leaving the city’s streets deserted.
Queensland remains on high alert despite recording zero new coronavirus cases on Sunday. Pictured is a healthcare worker at a testing clinic in Brisbane
‘Can I remind people, if you do need to go to the shops to get a loaf of bread or some milk, put your mask on and you can go and do that,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
‘If you want to do a bit of exercise, please put your mask on and you can go into a walk around your neighbourhood.
‘It is a beautiful day out there, so please feel free to go and do those few things.
‘But this has been a really great response from people in the greater Brisbane community, and we need to keep it up.
Dr Young urged Queenslanders to continue to come forward after more than 19,000 tests were conducted on Saturday.
‘The more we can do that, then we know that we don’t have those chains of transmission occurring that we don’t know about,’ she said.
There are currently 20 active coronavirus cases across the state.
Greater Brisbane will remain in lockdown until at least 6pm Monday. Pictured is a lifeguard at a deserted South Bank Beach on Saturday
Seven are returned travellers in hotel quarantine with the UK strain that has sparked havoc through Britain and resulted in a six week lockdown.
Another has the South African variant.
‘It is too early to actually say what this new virus means,’ Dr Young said.
‘This is the first time we’ve seen it in our community in Australia, we know what has been going on in the UK, but it is very hard to unravel, because they came from a different position to us.
Authorities remain on high alert after an infected case was released from hotel quarantine in Melbourne after just 10 days after arriving from the UK on Boxing Day.
She tested positive and did 10 days of quarantine before she was cleared of her symptoms and released to fly to Queensland, where she since tested positive again.
She arrived in Brisbane on January 5 on Jetstar flight JQ570 at 11pm and then travelled to Maleny on the Sunshine Coast where her parents live.
Local residents are now on high alert and have been urged to get tested after the woman Woolworths, bottle shop and pizza cafe while infectious.
The woman visited Cappriccios Italian Pizza Restaurant on January 6 between 6.30pm and 7pm, Purple Palate Cellars between 4.15pm and 4.25pm on January 7 and Maleny Woolworths on January 7 between 4.30pm and 4.50pm.
The Premier has thanked Brisbane residents for staying at home since 6pm Friday. Pictured is a police officer on a bike patrolling the deserted streets
Queensland Health has urged anyone who was at the venues when the woman was there to get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
Contact tracing is being carried out for passengers who were near the woman on the Jetstar flight.
Once arriving back in Brisbane the woman tested positive to Covid-19 – prompting the protocols for hotel quarantine to change, nationally.
Those in hotel quarantine now have to carry out the full 14-day stay under new protocols announced on Friday, and each person will be tested before leaving.
’We’ve got a new variant, so we have to review all those protocols, which we have, so we’ve immediately put in place that people must remain in isolation for 14 days rather than 10 days, plus have an exit test,’ Dr Young said.
Queensland’s international arrivals will be halved to a cap at 500 per week following a special National Cabinet meeting ordered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison was held on Friday.
Queensland reported zero new cases of coronavirus on Sunday with more than 19,000 tests being done in the previous 24 hours (pictured: Brisbane on Saturday)
Queensland Health have issued a separate urgent alert for anyone who visited two supermarkets in Brisbane’s south when a hotel quarantine cleaner was there who has also tested positive to the UK strain.
These are the Coles at Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown on January 5 between 7.30am and 8am and the Woolworths at Calamvale North on January 3 between 11am and 12pm.
Anyone who was at the store during these hours in considered a close contact and must immediately get tested and quarantine for 14-days regardless of the test result.
Commuters on the Altandi to Roma St Station train at 7am on January 2 and Central to Altandi train at 4pm on January 2 have also been requested to get tested.
Residents in the council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Redlands must stay at home until 6pm on Monday except for essential work and shopping, exercise, to access healthcare or look after the vulnerable.
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski also commended Brisbane residents on their exemplary compliance to lockdown restrictions.
Police handed out 700 masks and issued just 15 infringements in 24 hours to Sunday morning.
A third of those fines were issued at a house party in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm on Saturday night.
Queensland Health has issued an alert for three venues in Maleny (pictured: health workers are seen at a COVID-19 drive through testing clinic at Murarrie in Brisbane, Friday)
As Queenslanders eye a return to ‘normal’ life from Monday evening, Dr Young has so far been non-committal.
‘We have to wait and see. I know it’s frustrating for people, and I apologise for that, but we have to take this day by day,’ she said on Saturday.
‘Anything is a possibility, but I won’t say how likely any scenario is. We’ve seen that at the moment down in Sydney with some very lengthy periods and then another case pop up. We have to take each day and get the best information we can.
A decision about lockdown will be announced on Monday morning.
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