Anyone arriving in the Northern Territory either by land or air after 4:30pm today from six local government jurisdictions in Queensland will have to undergo supervised quarantine following a snap lockdown in Brisbane, NT Health has declared.
Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison identified the new hotspot areas as Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Redland City, Moreton Bay, and Toowoomba.
“We are going to be monitoring the situation very closely so we will meet again on Thursday, and we will update Territorians then,” she said. “But if we need to change again, because the situation rapidly changes we will meet, and we will make decisions quickly and act fast to keep people safe.”
The declaration comes after four new cases of community transmission have been detected in Australia’s third-biggest city, involving the highly infectious UK variant of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The three-day lockdown of Brisbane and the city’s surrounds has been declared twice this year alone, the latest lockdown coming after seven people tested positive for coronavirus, the first significant community outbreak in Australia in weeks.
“This is the UK strain. It is highly infectious. Now we need to do this now to avoid a longer lockdown,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“We’ve seen what’s happened in other countries. I don’t want to see that happen to Queensland, I don’t want to see that happen to Australia.”
Ms Manison said anyone who has arrived in the NT from March 25 onwards after being in Ipswich, Logan, and Redland must enter self-isolation and get tested for coronavirus in the next 72 hours.
Those who have arrived in the Territory from the Toowoomba Region from March 26 will also need to get tested and isolate.
Moreover, anyone who has arrived in the NT from Brisbane and the Moreton Bay Region on Saturday, March 20 have already been required to self-quarantine and get tested.
Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie also ordered that people who came from Gladstone on March 26 and Byron Bay from March 27 to also get tested and self-isolate. These areas are not formally declared as hotspots.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this causes,” Ms Manison said. “I know that there are many Territorians that were planning an Easter break, certainly to go over to Queensland, or would have been expecting to see some of their loved ones arriving from there, but that is the COVID-19 situation we are still very much still living in, it is very live.”
NT Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Travis Wurst said they will increase their presence in airports and at land border crossings from today.