Queensland health officials will spend the next 24 hours closely monitoring a coronavirus outbreak in Sydney’s Northern Beaches before making a decision on whether border restrictions will need to be reimposed.
- Queenslanders have been urged to wait 24 hours before travelling to NSW
- Acting Premier Steven Miles flagged hotspots may be declared if the outbreak worsens
- A total of six confirmed cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Sydney, with five in the Northern Beaches area
Authorities have urged Queenslanders to wait until Friday before travelling south in case the situation worsens.
It comes as New South Wales health authorities recorded an additional three cases of COVID-19 in Sydney, following the two confirmed yesterday at Sydney’s Northern Beaches and earlier, an airport driver.
The new cases bring the emerging outbreak to a total of five cases — all of which are people who tested positive in NSW within the past two days.
Queensland Acting Premier Steven Miles said he met with Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath earlier today to discuss the situation.
He said closing Queensland’s border to NSW was not being considered at this stage, but hotspots could be declared if the outbreak and number of unlinked cases grew.
“What we would monitor is the geographic locations of any further cases and whether these cases can be linked to known cases,” he said.
“But we are too early to be able to say that will be the case.
“It could well be the case that we just have these five cases and they can be linked, they can be isolated and that there are no other cases.
“Obviously there’s a lot of concern about this emerging outbreak in Sydney and they are monitoring it very, very closely.”
Mr Miles said Dr Young met her NSW counterpart, Kerry Chant, and the other state and territory health officers at their regular meeting this morning.
Queenslanders urged to wait before travelling south
The Acting Premier asked Queenslanders planning to travel to NSW to wait 24 hours to see if the outbreak worsens.
“Over the next 24 hours we’ll monitor that situation very, very closely and so to anyone currently in Queensland who might be planning Christmas travel to that region we just urge you to take caution,” Mr Miles said.
“To consider waiting out that 24 hours to see whether this cluster gets any worse because over that period of time the Chief Health Officer will need to consider whether other steps need to be put in place.”
Mr Miles urged anyone currently in Queensland who has recently been in Sydney to check if they had been in a location of concern as listed on the NSW Health website.
“We would urge anyone in Queensland who has been in that Northern Beaches region from December 13 onwards to go to the NSW Health Alerts and see if they were in any of the locations,” he said.
“Anyone in Queensland now who has returned from Sydney and was in the Northern Beaches [is] to check that list of venues to see whether they were potentially exposed and follow those directions there to get tested or isolate.”
Mr Miles said it was “early days” and he was confident in the NSW health response systems in place.
“Contact tracing, quarantine and response systems are very, very robust now so we hope and are sure they will get on top of this very, very quickly,” he said.
Queensland recorded one new case of coronavirus in hotel quarantine today.