A worrying spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria has prompted Queensland Health to widen the number of COVID-19 hotspots in the southern state.
All of Melbourne’s 31 local government areas have now been declared COVID-19 hotspots for Queenslanders, as well as five bordering local Government areas including Murrindindi, Mitchell, Moorabool, Macedon Ranges and Greater Geelong.
“The update to declared hotspots follows the recent increase in new COVID-19 cases in Greater Melbourne, along with several active outbreaks demonstrating community transmission and risk of community transmission within the Greater Melbourne region,” a Queensland Health spokesman said on Sunday morning.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
It means any returning Queenslanders from those areas will now be forced to quarantine for 14 days upon returning to the sunshine state.
That’s unless the travel to Queensland is for a “limited number of essential purposes”.
“Penalties apply for not complying with the direction,” Qld Health warned.
It comes after Victoria recorded 44 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, with Saturday’s 25 cases the biggest increase in a single day since the pandemic began.
The state was due to loosen their restrictions tomorrow, however that has now been delayed with tighter restrictions coming into place to avoid a potential second wave.
From midnight, home gatherings in Victoria will again be restricted to no more than five guests, while only 10 people can gather in public.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles told reporters at a press conference on Sunday that the state government will continue to assess what is happening in Victoria and other states across the country before making a decision on the borders.
The State Government was expected to allow interstate travel from July 10, however that is now in doubt.
“We still have time between now and when the roadmap outlined we would likely consider lifting those restrictions, so that’s time to analyse what happens in Victoria,” Mr Miles said.
“We certainly hope that they get on top of those cases of local transmission with these new restrictions that they’ve put in place.
“We will take all of that into account when considering whether its safe to lift our borders, but the last thing we want to do is lift the borders, have lots of people come here for school holidays, spread coronavirus in our state and then force us to go backwards on restrictions.”
Queensland’s state total remains at 1066 after the state recorded another day of zero cases today.
There are just three cases still active across the whole state, including two on the Gold Coast.