Queensland Covid update: NRL grand final capacity cut as six new cases recorded

Queensland has reintroduced some public health restrictions in greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Townsville and Palm Island, and effectively cut the number of fans who can attend the NRL grand final, after the state recorded six new Covid cases on Thursday.

Stadiums will be limited to 75% capacity under the new rules, meaning some ticket-holders for the sold-out game are likely to be blocked from attending.

The state premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, told reporters the measures were necessary and that she would not hesitate to trigger another lockdown should the situation deteriorate.

The chief health officer, Jeanette Young, said the most pressing concern related to the fact there were now four separate small outbreaks in the community.

“Although we haven’t seen any community cases expand out from any of these …clusters, there are so many of them now,” Young said.

“It’s a concern, so it’s important we put some restrictions back in place as I advised the premier this morning.”

Of the new cases, four are linked to the “aviation cluster” first detected in a man who works in an aviation training facility, and his wife. The other two were people who entered Queensland from interstate.

While there has not been evidence of further community transmission, sites of concern are now scattered across Greater Brisbane.

Townsville, and the Indigenous community of Palm Island, are also now subject to “stage 2” restrictions after a pilot, who flew into north Queensland, tested positive.

The “stage 2” plan limits stadiums to 75% capacity, and it is unclear at this stage how the NRL will manage the restrictions ahead of the NRL grand final between Penrith and South Sydney.

Palaszczuk said the NRL and Stadiums Queensland had sold tickets in stages, in a way that could determine which fans potentially miss out on attending.

The new restrictions also limit home gatherings to 30 people; limit the seating density cafes and restaurants; and mandate face masks where people cannot physically distance.

Asked about the NRL grand final, Palaszczuk said: “I think Queenslanders know we will always with the health of the first and that is exactly what we will do”.

“This is the advice that has been provided to me by Dr Young. It will depend each day how things progress in this state, whether Queenslanders wear their mask, whether they go and get tested.

“It will be very critical the next 24 to 48 hours about whether or not we see any seeding into the community.

“Let me make it very clear that the health of Queenslanders comes first and as soon as Dr Young says we needed to move into a lockdown we will.”

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