Queensland will extend its coronavirus restrictions to two new regions despite recording just four new cases linked to a correctional training academy.
One trainee from the Queensland Corrective Services Academy at Wacol, in the state’s south-east, and three household contacts of trainees tested positive on Friday.
A senior trainer at the academy was diagnosed with the virus on Thursday following the outbreak at the nearby youth facility.
Health Minister Steven Miles says the new cases underline the importance of adherence to household restrictions.
It comes as those health restrictions limiting the number of people who can gather are to be extended to the Gold Coast and Darling Downs regions.
One trainee from the Queensland Corrective Services Academy at Wacol, in the state’s south-east, and three household contacts of trainees tested positive on Friday
Health Minister Steven Miles says the new cases underline the importance of adherence to household restrictions (pictured, nurses at a drive-through COVID-19 pop-up clinic)
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday Schoolies Week had been cancelled less than three months before it was scheduled to begin
No more than ten people can gather in Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan without a COVID-19 safety plan, following an initial outbreak at a youth detention centre.
That will be extended south to the Gold Coast from 8am Saturday after two Pimpama residents linked to the cluster were diagnosed with the virus.
The new rules will also come in to effect in the Darling Downs from 8am on Monday, after health alerts were issues for The Southern Hotel and Queens’ Park Markets in Toowoomba.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday Schoolies Week had been cancelled less than three months before it was scheduled to begin.
‘This is a mass event. It poses a high risk,’ she told reporters.
Concerts and large parties will be banned, with limits on gatherings at beaches and apartment complexes.
‘It’s a tough year for everyone. Hopefully, things will get better by the end of next year and we can have a double celebration,’ she said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he backed the decision but conceded it would be tough on local businesses, such as accommodation providers.
‘There will be costs in their business operations and I sympathise … because to get new business in 85 days is near impossible,’ he said.
Kimberley Brown (pictured), from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, was unable to obtain a travel exemption for urgent surgery in Queensland
Mr Tate said the event should have been cancelled sooner and called on tourism promoters to encourage families to the region, to replace the students.
Ms Palaszczuk has also been criticised over the border closure after a mother lost one of her unborn twins and another one was separated from her newborn son.
Kimberley Brown, from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, was unable to obtain a travel exemption for urgent surgery in Queensland.
Her unborn twins had developed twin transfusion syndrome – a disorder that leads to malnourishment and organ failure in one of the babies.
Mrs Brown lived just two hours from Queensland’s Mater Hospital but instead had to wait 16 hours for an emergency flight and travel 750km to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
An ultrasound later showed Mrs Brown had lost one of the babies.
Chantelle Northfield was also separated from her newborn son because of the border closure.
She had given birth to her son at Lismore Base Hospital, in New South Wales.
Chantelle Northfield (pictured) was also separated from her newborn son because of the border closure
Her son experienced difficulty breathing and was airlifted to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Ms Northfield remained in New South Wales and was unable to visit her baby without quarantining for 14 days.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke at a Bush Summit at Cooma on Friday to slam the border closure.
‘Much more needs to be done to ensure these border movements are made easier and ultimately to ensure they’re open again,’ he said.
‘While the scale of the Victorian outbreak meant the borders between NSW and Vic were regrettably necessary — and they are and remain — this does not diminish the principle that border restrictions, especially where there are no or very low cases in regional areas, cannot and should not be sustained.