Australia Queensland records no locally acquired COVID-19 cases as state closes borders to six Sydney council areas
Queensland declares ALL of Sydney a coronavirus hotspot
This includes the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, leaving millions trapped out of the Sunshine State just days before the school holidays. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement via Twitter after Sydney recorded 16 new locally acquired cases on Wednesday bringing the cities growing cluster to 35.The border closure will go into effect on Thursday at 1am.
Queensland has declared more New South Wales local government areas COVID-19 hotspots as the southern state's cluster of the highly infectious Delta variant grows.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said as of 1:00am on Thursday, Queensland will close its borders to Sydney, Bayside, Woollahra, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick council areas.
The state already declared the Waverley Council area a hotspot.
Travellers from those areas will be barred from entering the state, while Queenslanders returning from those areas will be placed in hotel quarantine.
What are the COVID travel restrictions for each state as school holidays start?
With community cases of COVID-19 detected in three states, travel restrictions are changing quickly ahead of the imminent school holidays. Here's a list of where you can and can't travel.If you've planned to travel interstate in the coming weeks, we've compiled a list of the latest restrictions.
Non-Queensland residents who have visited those areas will need an exemption to enter the state and will also need to quarantine.
'The risk is so much higher'
Ms Palaszczuk said she had "serious concerns" about the Delta variant which originated in India and warned people to be prepared for advice to be updated later in the day if the New South Wales cluster worsens.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said it was critical Queenslanders reconsider travel to Wollongong and Greater Sydney.
"At the start of this pandemic, I spoke about 15 minutes of close contact being a concern – now it looks like it's five or 10 seconds," Dr Young said.
"We're seeing very fleeting contact leading to transmission... the risk is so much higher now than it was only a year ago."
Queensland says people who have been in four Sydney council areas must follow COVID-19 lockdown rules
Anyone in Queensland who have been to four Sydney council areas in the past fortnight must follow the same lockdown rules imposed in New South Wales. Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young made the direction as the southern state recorded 22 new locally acquired cases linked to the Bondi cluster.From 1:00am tomorrow, visitors from those areas will be required to stay where they are and can only leave for "permitted purposes".Dr Young also announced the hotspot declaration for those four local government areas would be backdated to June 11.
It comes as Queensland recorded no locally acquired cases of COVID-19, but recorded an overseas case of the Delta variant in hotel quarantine.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the new hotspot declarations were necessary to allow Queenslanders to enjoy relaxed restrictions from the end of the week.
Eased restrictions will mean limits on home and outdoor gatherings will be lifted, full capacity will return to seated events and all restrictions will be lifted on self-service food.
Venues will also be allowed to host three people per four square metres from the end of the week and need fewer COVID-safe plans.
"We know that might mean some Queenslanders who had hoped to holiday in Sydney, and similarly some Sydney folk coming up to Queensland might have their school holidays affected," he said.
"We don't take those decisions lightly, but it is more important that we can go to those lower levels of restrictions on Friday in time for the school holidays."
Eased restrictions imminent for Victorians
Victorians are being welcomed back to South Australia and Queensland, while the state is on the "right track" for restrictions to ease at home.South Australia and Queensland announced on Tuesday they would reopen their borders to Victoria from Friday, in time for the southern state's school holidays.
Virus spread across rooms in hotel quarantine
Meanwhile, health authorities have been investigating how the virus was transferred between hotel quarantine guests at the Novotel Brisbane Airport earlier this month.
Dr Young said the transmission occurred between returned travellers in two adjacent rooms on the fifth floor.
"At the time, we thought it was just overseas acquired, but now that I've got the genome sequencing back it's clear that the first person has given it to the other two," she said.
"We're contacting all of the 30 people on floor five and anyone who left quarantine during the period that I'm concerned about.
"The people on floor five, their stay is being extended until we've been able to confirm that there's been no additional transmission."
Dr Young said all hotel quarantine staff would be retested.
Queensland completed a record total of 15,356 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours.
Victoria's new COVID-19 case linked to aged care home .
Victoria has recorded one new local case of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours to midnight, while none have been uncovered in Queensland.Victoria's new locally-acquired case is a primary close contact who has been quarantining throughout their infectious period.