Friday, January 8, 2021

Brisbane enters lockdown due to single infection


The Australian city of Brisbane will enter a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Queensland state officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and there were fears it could spread to others.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia's first wave last year.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in the state capital.

State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: "Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future."

"I think everybody in Queensland... knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain," she said.

"And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state."

The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

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