Queensland police are hopeful the lockdown can end on Sunday on the condition everyone does the right thing. Picture: Jono Searle / NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Queenslanders have been told there is “still a chance” lockdown could end on Sunday, but it will rely on everyone doing the right thing.
The 11 local government areas of southeast Queensland were plunged into a lockdown on Saturday, after the highly infectious Delta variant was detected in a high school student. It has since spread to dozens of other schoolchildren, family members and close contacts.
The lockdown was originally slated to end on Tuesday afternoon, but has been extended until at least Sunday. Chief health officer Jeannette Young has said the only way lockdown can end is if as few people as possible are in the community while infectious.
Cars fill the oval at Indooroopilly State School where Covid-19 testing is being carried out for staff, students and their families after students tested positive. Sarah Marshall / NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
“Someone who has been in quarantine for their full infectious period doesn’t concern me. It’s people who have been out and about who worry me,” she said on Tuesday.
Queensland’s health authorities and police are urging people to consider whether they really need to leave their homes before they do so. Picture: Jono Searle / NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police were working closely with Dr Young to “get on top” of the southeast’s Delta outbreak, but too many people were leaving their homes without an essential reason.
“We still think we have a chance to get on top of this, so we’re working extremely hard to do this,” he told the Today show on Wednesday.
“As Dr Young has said, we want to see this lift by Sunday.
“The message is not ‘can I go out?’ but ‘should I go out?’
“Don’t go out. Stay at home and only go out if you’re absolutely permitted to do so.”
More than a dozen people were arrested on Monday on what was the state’s worst day for Covid-19 compliance since the pandemic began. Picture: Jono Searle / NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Mr Gollschewski said police were prepared to take enforcement action on those doing the wrong thing, a day after he expressed his disappointment at the record number of infringement actions taken.
More Queenslanders were fined for breaching Covid-19 restrictions on Monday than on any other day since the beginning of the pandemic, including 34 people fined at an illegal protest.
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A woman is almost arrested as police patrol the CBD. Picture: Jono Searle / NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Fifteen people were arrested on Monday for failing to comply with police direction.
“It’s unacceptable that all of our community vastly take this very seriously … but a portion of our community think they can continue to do whatever they want,” he said on Tuesday.
Queensland authorities still don’t know how the state’s Delta outbreak began. Picture: Sarah Marshall / NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Authorities are still trying to piece together how this current outbreak, which currently stands at 47, started. The cases have been genomically linked to two returned travellers who arrived in the southeast in June, but how it spread to the Indooroopilly High School student remains a mystery.
Whether the lockdown will spread across the state’s far north is the question on Queenslanders’ lips on Wednesday, after a case of Covid-19 was detected in Cairns.
Genome sequencing was due back Wednesday morning to confirm whether the case, which had visited a number of locations including a childcare centre, has the Delta strain.
Dozens of new exposure sites in Brisbane and the state’s far north were added on Tuesday evening – the full list can be viewed here.