D-day for southeast QLD as lockdown decision looms

A decision will be made this morning on whether southeast Queensland’s lockdown will be lifted after ‘encouraging’ signs on Saturday.

Queensland recorded 13 new cases on Saturday with at least 12 of those in quarantine while infectious.

Officials also believe the remaining case, a child, was also likely in isolation while infectious.


The lockdown across 11 local government areas, including the Gold Coast, is due to be lifted at 4pm on Sunday.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young told reporters on Saturday that she would wait for more numbers to make a final call.

“It depends on what the numbers are tomorrow morning (Sunday). Today’s numbers are encouraging, but I really can’t predict what tomorrow will do. I need those numbers before we have a decision,” Dr Young said.

If the lockdown is lifted, the decision to wait until this morning to make the announcement is set to leave businesses scrambling.

Some hospitality venues on the Gold Coast have indicated they are ready to welcome back patrons from 4pm, while others say they won’t bother opening until Monday.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli says Queenslanders should be told the moment a decision is made, arguing ‘minutes matter.’

“The difference between an hour might not mean much to some people but it’s everything to somebody running a small and family business,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“If they have the confidence that the lockdown is lifted and if they have a little bit of notice they might be able to salvage something out of a weekend of misery and that’s just why I just ask the government – the moment you know share it with Queenslanders and Queensland will thank you for it.”

Mayor Tom Tate has been leading calls for the Gold Coast to be released from lockdown, even if the lockdown in Brisbane is extended.

“I would appeal to the state government — look at the data and take the Gold Coast out of lockdown,” Cr Tate said during the week.

“There’s no cases here, we’re doing our bit and really we want to support each other to go to the restaurants and get the economy and livelihoods going again.”

However, concerns have been raised that the listing of a Gold Coast supermarket as an exposure site will be used to justify any extension of the lockdown here.

The Woolworths at Mudgeeraba Market Shopping Centre is listed as a casual contact site on Monday, August 2 between 2.55pm and 3.20pm

Read more: Gold Coast supermarket added to list of exposure sites

Deputy Premier Steven Miles defended the decision to include the Gold Coast in the lockdown despite the city having no cases in the community.

“What we’ve emphasised is that the Gold Coast has been included in this lockdown both because the originating case of this outbreak was treated at Gold Coast University Hospital and because there were exposure sites on the Gold Coast,” Dr Miles said on Friday.

Officials are expected to hold a media conference at 10am.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will emerge from two weeks quarantine on Sunday morning and is expected to front the media conference to make the announcement.