Queensland to close border to NSW’s COVID-19 hotspots

“If you have been to any of the exposure sites at the specified times, you must follow the specified health advice.”

Earlier in the day, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state could not risk introducing the Delta variant of coronavirus into the community.

“The spread of the virus is of … growing concern in Sydney,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters, citing the large number of exposure sites and 21 cases now linked to the cluster.

Queensland will open its borders to Greater Melbourne from 1am on Friday.

Dr Young said the sheer number of exposure sites in Sydney, now numbering more than 120, along with the “fleeting contact” being reported between some cases, meant the Sydney lockout was required.

One new case was recorded in Queensland overnight, detected in a returned traveller from Zambia in hotel quarantine, with the genome sequence showing it was the Delta variant. A total of 10,087 tests were carried out in the state on Tuesday, along with 15,300 vaccinations.

Greater Sydney is now among areas included in the Queensland lockout.Credit:Liam Williamson

Dr Young also said separate genome testing had shown there had been transmission between two people quarantining in neighbouring rooms on the fifth floor of the Novotel hotel at Brisbane Airport.

Health authorities initially thought a couple acquired the virus overseas, but it was now believed to have been transmitted from a person in an adjoining room.

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All guests still staying on the floor have had their quarantine extended, and authorities are contacting anyone who has since left to be tested and re-enter quarantine until an investigation can determine if there has been any further transmission.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the case again highlighted the need for a regional quarantine facility in the state, which had been “effectively ruled out” by the federal government.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Wednesday, Queensland Health confirmed a review of CCTV footage could not identify any breach of protocol among staff at the Four Points hotel, in Brisbane’s CBD, where a Portuguese flight crew member tested negative three times in quarantine before being released into the community, where they tested positive.

The statement said Queensland Health now suspected the infection of two people on different floors of that hotel were the result of transmission by a surface or object.

Anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, especially if they have recently returned from NSW, should immediately get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Testing locations can be found at qld.gov.au/covid19testing.

– With Cassandra Morgan

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