Australia

South-east Queensland to enter lockdown after recording six new COVID-19 cases linked to Delta strain

South-east Queensland will go into a snap three-day lockdown from Saturday afternoon, after the state recorded six new local COVID-19 cases.

The new cases were confirmed to be the highly infectious Delta strain, and are linked to a 17-year-old who tested positive to the virus on Friday.

The new cases are the family members of that case, and a tutor of one of those family members.

Stay-at-home orders will apply to residents in south-east Queensland for three days – beginning today at 4pm and ending on Tuesday at 4pm.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeanette Young said 11 LGAs will be affected.

“Stay at home and do not leave, unless it is absolutely critical.”

The 11 LGAS under lockdown include: Brisbane City, Moreton Bay Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast.

The state’s health minister Yvette D’Ath said she makes no apology for the speed and strictness of the orders.

“If you want to prevent the spread of the Delta virus, you have to go hard and you have to go fast.”

“Just over five days, we have an entire household of five people affected. And one of them had passed it onto another teacher.

“In Sydney, we saw what happened. From one case, 38 days later they are at 3,000 cases – from that one person. Sadly, 13 people have died from that one cluster.We have to get this right.

“We have been here before. We know what we have to do.”

Dr Young said it is hoped the lockdown only lasts for three days, but that will depend on compliance with the lockdown rules.

“This is one of the most restrictive lockdowns we’ve had since the start of the pandemic. So for the next three days, I just ask everyone is to stay at home.

“There are a lot of people infected days ago who could have already started spreading (the virus).”

A 10-kilometre travel restriction will be in place to reduce the movement of people.

“I don’t know today where this virus is in the south-east of Queensland. But wherever it is, I don’t want it to go further,” Dr Young said.

“And we know that the vast majority of cases are spread by people breathing out and other people breathing in. That is the vast majority of cases.”

Exceptions to the 10-kilometre limit include compassionate reasons, such as looking after a vulnerable person.

“Of course, use that common sense, which I know people do… But just minimise movement, if you can.”

Deputy premier Steven Miles said for the first time, masks will be mandatory for Queensland high school students.

“High schools will, for the first time, have masks for teachers, students and everyone in the school.”

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