People from NSW will be banned from entering Queensland from the weekend, as the southern state itself considers tightening controls on people flying in from Victoria.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday declared all of NSW and the ACT a COVID-19 hotspot.
“In NSW we are continuing to see cases hatch each day and this is of great concern to Queensland,” she told reporters.
The ban will take effect from 1am on Saturday.
“We have seen that Victoria is not getting better and we’re not going to wait for NSW to get worse. We need to act,” she said.
Meanwhile the the issue of optional mask wearing for people flying from Melbourne to Sydney has become a bone of contention.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd has said everyone arriving at Sydney Airport from Melbourne should wear a mask until they arrive at their accommodation.
“Those people should be wearing a mask, they should be going straight home and straight into isolation,” Professor Kidd told ABC News Breakfast.
Under current protocols, people arriving at Sydney airport are asked to wear a mask on the way to their accommodation but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian insisted the processes were “very rigorous” and police had asked the government “to look at that” even though most people were compliant.
She and Dr Kidd agreed that compulsory hotel quarantine for returned Melbourne travellers was not necessary.
“The question is – how does that differ from someone who has been asked to self-isolate because they were at a restaurant or they’re with a direct contact? There are lots of rules we have in place at the moment which relies on people doing the right thing,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The hard lockdown imposed in Melbourne and Victoria would now limit the number of people able to leave their homes.
“So that will, we believe, have a positive impact on the number of people trying to get to NSW,” she said.
Meanwhile a number of Sydney students and teachers are waiting to see if they have contracted coronavirus after three pupils at two schools in the city’s southwest tested positive.
The cases – one student from Bonnyrigg High School and two from Greenway Park Public School – are linked to the growing Mounties Club cluster in Mount Pritchard.
Both schools were closed on Tuesday for deep cleaning and contact tracing, with students and staff advised to self-isolate and get tested if unwell.
The schools resumed on-campus learning from Wednesday after NSW Health cleared them to reopen.
NSW recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases from 12,876 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday. One case is in hotel quarantine and all are from known sources.