Australia

Queensland records no new local coronavirus cases as NSW prepares to ease restrictions

Queensland has recorded no new cases of locally acquired COVID-19 as desperate tourism operators celebrated a “bumper” Easter weekend.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the four new cases are all international arrivals in hotel quarantine.

“That means there is no further community transmission which is fantastic news,” Mr Miles said.

“It underlines how it is better to have to lockdown for three days than for three months.”

The state recorded four positive infection cases in hotel quarantine from travellers returning from Papua New Guinea, two from Lebanon and one from India.

There are currently 75 active cases in the state, with health restrictions to remain in place the next fortnight.

They include wearing a mask indoors in public, a 30-person limit on private gatherings and restrictions on visits to hospitals, prisons and aged care and disability facilities.

People have been urged to continue checking the Queensland Health COVID-19 website for updates on contact sites, after a historical case was identified as a nurse that contracted the virus from a man who arrived from Europe last month.

The traveller – who became a patient at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane – has now been labelled the superspreader who sparked the latest Queensland outbreak.

Despite outbreak fears, Queensland celebrated an Easter tourism surge, Mr Miles said.

“On a positive note, it has been a bumper weekend for our tourism operators,” he said.

“About 75,000 people flew into Cairns … largely from … Sydney and Melbourne, and lots and lots of full flights arrived on Thursday and Friday.”

Hotel occupancy surged to a welcome 90 per cent in some areas.

“On the Sunshine and Gold Coast, it was also very busy with Gold Coast Airport having its busiest day for arrivals on Thursday,” Mr Miles said.

“So it’s wonderful that Queenslanders and southerners have supported our tourism regions.”

South Australia has recorded two new cases of coronavirus in hotel quarantine. 

These two cases are two unrelated men in their 40s. Both acquired their infections overseas and have
been in a medi-hotel since their arrival.

Separately, a man in his 40s remains in the Royal Adelaide Hospital ICU, in a critical condition after contracting what is believed to be the South African variant of the virus.

Meanwhile, NSW is planning to ease restrictions that were implemented following a breakout in the state’s north last week.

Temporary restrictions for the local government areas of Tweed Shire Council, Ballina Shire Council, Byron Shire Council and Lismore City Council will be lifted at 11.59pm on Monday.

NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with three new cases acquired overseas.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania 

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