Southern Tasmania declared COVID-19 hotspot as Qld records no new local cases

Asia's Tech News Daily

Queenslanders returning from southern Tasmania have hours to make it home before they will be forced into hotel quarantine because of an ongoing COVID-19 threat in Hobart.

Queensland meanwhile recorded zero local cases on Saturday and three from the international quarantine hotels.

The Tasmanian government sent 12 local government areas into a three-day lockdown from 6pm on Friday after an infected New South Wales man escaped hotel quarantine and spent 18 hours in the community before he was caught.

Queensland Health will declare the same 12 Tasmanian LGAs, which includes Hobart, hotspots from 1am on Sunday. Anyone arriving from these areas after that time will be told to enter hotel quarantine.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young urged anyone who arrived before that time, or who was already in Queensland after being anywhere in Tasmania from October 11, to monitor for symptoms.

However, she said anyone who had been to Tasmanian exposure sites during the risk periods must isolate immediately and get tested.

The exposure sites are:

  • Jetstar flight JQ715 from Melbourne to Hobart (arriving 8.27pm) on October 11;
  • Hobart Airport, including the arrivals hall, from 8.54pm to 10.07pm on October 11;
  • Hobart Airport arrivals area male bathroom from 9.10pm to 9.15pm and 9.25pm and 9.30pm on October 11; and
  • Woolworths Bridgewater (3.30pm to 4.00pm) on October 12

Tasmania recorded zero new cases on Saturday morning, the first full day of the lockdown.

Premier Peter Gutwein urged Tasmanian police to throw the book at the 31-year-old escapee, who has 158 primary close contacts.

The affected council areas are Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence City, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Glenorchy City Council, Hobart City, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman.

Speaking in Logan on Saturday morning, Treasurer Cameron Dick described New South Wales’ decision to scrap quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from November 1 as a “curveball”.

“We’re seeing a real-time experiment and NSW,” he said of the state’s reopening strategies.

“We’re watching that very closely.”

He urged Queenslanders yet to get vaccinated to visit one of 33 Bunnings across the state with pop-up hubs operating across the weekend.

“Grab a vax, grab a snag,” he said.

More than 71 per cent of the population aged 16 and above have received at least one dose, 55.5 per cent have had both injections.

Logan mayor Darren Power said his jurisdiction, with a single-dose take-up of about 64 per cent, was “dragging the chain”.

“We’ve run out of excuses in Logan,” he said. “People have to get off their backside and get vaccinated.”

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