Australia

Queensland records one new COVID-19 case in home quarantine

The state has a total of 19 active COVID-19 cases.

Despite the low COVID-19 case numbers, data obtained by AAP shows the number of people in home quarantine in Queensland has ballooned to 3,607.

Of that group, 2,199 people were sent into quarantine because they were close contacts of locally-acquired cases.

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Interstate arrivals from hotspots, which include NSW, Victoria and the ACT, are generally supposed to quarantine for 14 days in government-managed accommodation at their own expense.

But on Friday, 421 people were isolating at home instead of a hotel after arriving from a hotspot.

Anyone who wants to enter Queensland from a hotspot, isolate at home instead of in a hotel or cross the border by road instead of by air must apply for a permit.

Some 4,277 exemption requests have been made this month, including 3,262 for those wishing to enter from a hotspot.

About one quarter of those coming from interstate – 823 – were granted some form of approval.

Police say they’ve turned around more than 200 domestic passengers who have flown into Queensland without correct paperwork since September 1.

Some 2,613 have been sent to hotel quarantine after arriving from interstate between August 31 and September 23.

Meanwhile, Queensland hospitality and tourism businesses will be granted further state and federal government aid as they continue to be hamstrung by border closures.

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Iconic attractions will receive $30 million from a pre-existing $600 million support package.

The aid comes in the form of grants for up to $4 million for sites that can demonstrate they are key drivers of tourism and have been recently hard hit.

Tourism and hospitality businesses of all sizes will be eligible for grants up to $50,000 if they can show they’ve suffered a dip in turnover of at least 70 per cent.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says while tourism from within Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory is still viable, the industry has suffered.

“National Cabinet continues to consider evidence as to when travel can occur safely and more freely, and these grants will help the tourism industry retain strength until that time,” he said on Saturday.

Federal counterpart Josh Frydenberg says a successful Queensland tourism industry depends on all Australians getting vaccinated.

“Governments must also hold up their end of the bargain and stick to the plan agreed at National Cabinet that will see restrictions ease and our borders open up as we reach our vaccination targets of 70 to 80 per cent,” he cautioned.

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