Health officials are warning people across the Gold Coast and south-east Queensland to avoid going outside with air quality hitting record low levels thanks to bushfires burning across the region.
A statewide smoke alert has been issued with people urged to remain indoors with windows and doors closed.
Employers are also being urged to reconsider having staff work outside.
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Air quality on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and in Ipswich deteriorated further overnight and is now listed as ‘very poor’.
It’s so bad, that air quality is some areas is worse than what it is in major centres in China.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says if you don’t need to be outside, then don’t.
“For everyone it’s important to consider whether you need to be outside. If you don’t need to be outdoors, it is safest to be indoors,” Dr Young said.
“If you have air conditioning, turn it on to re-circulation, if you don’t have air conditioning and you’re vulnerable, consider going to somewhere where there is air conditioning – family or friends, going to a large shopping centre.”:
Dr Young says avoiding exercise outdoors is also strongly recommended.
“You definitely shouldn’t be doing any major physical exertion outside, this is not the time to go for a run, this is a time to stay indoors.”
Health officials are also urging people to check up on people who may be vulnerable including the elderly, the young and those with a respiratory condition.
The poor air is expected to stick around for at least another 48 hours and possibly even longer.
Schools across the region are also being urged to limit outdoor activities with students.