Queensland has rapidly brought restrictions against Greater Sydney, in a swift move to keep coronavirus out of its state.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said from 1am Friday, May 7, anyone arriving in the state who has been to any of the venues identified by NSW Health will need to go into hotel quarantine.
“We believe thess are sensible restrictions at this time and, of course, we will be watching
and monitoring very closely what is happening in New South Wales,” Ms D’Ath said.
The restrictions comes after a Sydney man visited multiple venues in NSW while infected with COVID-19.
Health officials said the man, in his 50s, had not travelled overseas recently and did not work in a quarantine hotel, border or health role.
An optometrist and two popular cafes are among a growing list of exposure sites after the man from Sydney’s eastern suburbs went to.
The public health alert prompted fears Queensland would close its border, given its tough stance throughout the pandemic.
Many Queenslanders in Sydney reportedly immediately made plans to return home, even before the announcement was made.
There were also fears Western Australia would do the same.
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Queensland’s move follows its new approach to border closures.
At the weekend the state unveiled its new plan to manage interstate outbreaks, after previous total border shutdowns devastated businesses and led to travel chaos.
The Interstate Exposure Venues Direction requires anyone who has been to a declared COVID-19 exposure site to immediately go into 14 days of quarantine “in government-arranged accommodation”.
It targets specific venues, such as shopping centres and stores, rather than declaring entire cities or states as hotspots.
On Sunday the order was put into action after a Perth hotel quarantine worker and two of his housemates tested positive to COVID-19.
Rather than closing to all of Perth or Western Australia, Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said only those who had visited a list of exposure sites would need to quarantine.
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On Wednesday evening, Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young warned anyone who had been to the new Sydney venues would have to quarantine.
“NSW Health has already made it clear that anyone who has been to any of those venues, should be quarantining, and not getting on flights,“ Dr Young said.
“We’re working closely with NSW to get a better understanding of the risk associated with this case, so as an interim measure, we’re mirroring NSW Health’s advice.
“We’ll continue to assess the situation as more information comes to hand over the next 24 hours.”
The Victorian government also issued advice, declaring all of NSW would remain a ‘green zone’ until more about the new infection was known “including genomic sequencing results”.
That means anyone from anywhere in NSW can travel freely to Victoria but should still apply for a travel permit.
But anyone who is in Victoria and attended an infected venue will be classified as a ‘tier 1’ and must get tested and isolate for the full 14 days.