Brisbane lockdown fears after four new COVID-19 cases

Brisbane residents face the prospect of a snap lockdown if there is any further spread of the coronavirus, after four new cases overnight sent shockwaves through Queensland which has been COVID-free for the past few weeks.

Amid growing fears the National Rugby League grand final on Sunday could be moved from Brisbane to Townsville, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the next few days will be crucial to determine if there is need for tougher restrictions.

The four new cases are a fully vaccinated aviation worker from Eatons Hill in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and his wife; a truck driver living in shared accommodation and finally a returning traveller from East Timor who has just come out of hotel quarantine.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was confident they could get on top of this, saying tougher mask mandates would come into effect from today.

“There is no need to panic because people have been doing the right thing in the south-east,” she said.

“We have been here before. I’m sure people in south-east Queensland will rise to the challenge.”

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she didn’t think there needed to be a lockdown in Brisbane “at this stage”, but the next 24 to 48 hours would be crucial to see if there was any further community spread.

“As long as we all wear masks, maintain social distancing and get tested, we can try and managed these two new outbreaks,” she said.

“But we will be keeping a very close eye on things over the next 24 to 48 hours to see whether we need additional restrictions.”

Dr Young said she had a “reasonable level of concern” over the latest COVID-19 outbreaks, saying she was hopeful Queenslanders would get on top of the virus.

The aviation worker was fully-vaccinated but only received his second dose in the past week.

Of more concern, was the truck driver who had been infectious in the community for eight days and had stayed at several hotels in the inner-city suburb of Spring Hill and a boarding house in South Brisbane.

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