All Sydney residents will soon be banned from entering Queensland after the whole of Greater Sydney was declared a coronavirus hotspot by the State Government.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the major announcement on Wednesday.
“Today I can confirm that Queensland will now be declaring Greater Sydney a COVID-19 Hotspot,” the Premier said.
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“We have seen more cases of community transmission spreading across a wider area of Sydney.
“This includes into areas frequented by tourists, travellers and large numbers of Sydney locals.”
The ban will kick in at 1.00am on Saturday, affecting another 31 local government areas.
The declaration adds Greater Sydney to declarations already in effect for travellers from Campbelltown, Liverpool, Fairfield and the whole state of Victoria.
“We have done this to ensure that we give notice to Queenslanders that may want to return home,” the Premier said.
“We know it is going to cause an inconvenience to families, and I know there may be a lot of events that are planned over the next few weeks, but it is too important… We must protect Queenslanders, your safety comes first.
“We are in extraordinary times at the moment and we have to do everything we can… So as I said yesterday, Queenlanders should not be travelling to Sydney.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the declaration was made on the advice of Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young following a worrying outbreak of coronavirus in the city.
From Saturday, all Queensland residents returning from Sydney will have to isolate in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.
Dr Young has now urged any Queenslanders currently in hotspots to make their way home before 1am Saturday.
“If you are in Sydney please take this opportunity to come home to the safety of Queensland,” Dr Young said.
“If an area where you are staying or visiting is suddenly declared a hotspot while you are there, once you return to Queensland, you will have to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel at your own expense,” she said.
BREAKING: Queensland will close its borders to all of Greater Sydney. From 1am Saturday, more hotspots will be declared and no one from Sydney will be allowed into Queensland. #COVID19au pic.twitter.com/044iZeTZ1g
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) July 29, 2020
There are now fears of a COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland after two 19-year-old women tested positive on Tuesday after returning home from Melbourne via Sydney.
It’s understood the pair touched down in Brisbane on July 21 and falsified their border declaration passes in order to avoid going into quarantine.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Premier described the actions of the two young women as “negligent”.
Ms Palaszczuk said she is extremely disappointed.
“First of all, let me say I am absolutely furious that this has happened. That these two people have gone to Victoria have come back and have given authorities misleading information”.
She said a “thorough police investigation” will be conducted in order to get to the bottom of the incident, which has forced a school Parklands Christian School in Parkridge, Logan to close for deep cleaning and disinfection today.
The two women were the only confirmed cases in Queensland overnight.
In NSW, the state recorded 19 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
Of those, 10 are connected to the Thai Rock Restaurant, taking the size of that cluster to 85, while just two are in hotel quarantine.
NSW declared hotspots as at 1am August 1, 2020:
Blue Mountains City
Canada Bay City
Hunter’s Hill Municipality
Lane Cove Municipality
The Hills Shire