PM backs Brisbane lockdown
Scott Morrison has described the situation in Brisbane as "serious" as residents in the city prepare to enter a three-day lockdown.
The prime minister said the Queensland government made a "wise decision" to enforce the restrictions after a quarantine hotel worker tested positive to the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.
"It moves so quickly far more quickly than previous strains of the virus," Mr Morrison said today.
"That means we need to give our contact tracers a head start to ensure they can track down all of the contacts from this individual."
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The prime minister also revealed Greater Brisbane will be declared a Commonwealth Coronavirus Hotspot region from 6pm today.
The ruling applies to the Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redlands regions of the city.
"Our message to Australian in those areas is stay where you are," Mr Morrison said.
"Don't go anywhere and don't go home to another state or any other part of your state.
"Over the next few days, stay where you are."
Greater Brisbane will enter a three-day lockdown this evening to prevent the spread of the UK COVID-19 strain.
The areas included in the lockdown are Metro North, Metro South and West Moreton.
From 6pm tonight, Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton, and Redlands will be under the same restrictions introduced in March.
"We know that this UK strain is highly infectious," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
"It is 70 per cent more infectious (than previous strains) and we are going to go hard and we are going to go early to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus."
Lockdown restrictions have also been extended to anyone who has visited Greater Brisbane area since January 2, regardless of where they are in the state.
"Think of it as a long weekend at home. We need to do this," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"If we do not do this now, it could end up being a 30-day lockdown."
Queensland has reported nine new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine.
More than 13,000 people were tested for the virus overnight, however Ms Palaszscuk urged more people to come forward.
"I want to thank people who have come out in their thousands to get tested but we want more to get tested, we want to see higher testing rates especially in the areas we outlined yesterday," she said.
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People in the designated lockdown areas will only be able to leave their home for essential reasons including providing or receiving healthcare or support for a vulnerable person, essential shopping within their local area and exercise in your local neighbourhood.
In addition, people will be required to wear a mask while outside their homes.
It is the first time a mask mandate has been enforced in Queensland since the beginning of the pandemic.
"I know this will be tough on businesses over the next few days but I am thinking about your long-term futures as well. So it is incredibly important that we take these strong measures," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk said the government has declared Brisbane and Greater Brisbane as a COVID-19 hotspot.
"It is incredibly important in this time to stop the spread of this infectious UK strain, we must act immediately, we must act strongly, and we have taken those strong measures today," she said.
The state's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said Queenslanders "can't relax" until all cases of the UK virus are found.
"We need to act really, really fast. We need to find every single case now. We need to find every person who might have had contact with that lady now - find them and get them into quarantine. That's what we've got to do over the next three days," Dr Young said.
"I have absolute confidence that we will do that."
For the next three days, funerals will be limited to 20 people, weddings to 10 people and people have been asked to limit any non-essential movement.
"We're asking people not to go to any non-essential businesses such as hairdressers, nail salons, etc, cinemas, gyms - all of those sporting activities over the weekend, organised community sport, all of that is just on hold," Dr Young said.
"We need to take a pause for the next three days and just see what this single case means."
Queenslanders who have visited hotspot areas and are now interstate have been asked to get tested if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
Queenslanders in Greater Brisbane have also been asked to avoid visiting vulnerable family members in aged care and hospitals.
Dr Young also urged people to avoid panic buying of essential goods ahead of tonight's lockdown.
Police will issue fines for people who break the new restrictions over the coming days.
Ms Palaszczuk said anyone who is currently on holiday outside the hotspot areas is allowed to return home, but they must remain for the next three days.
People planning to leave the Greater Brisbane area will not be permitted to do so.
"If you are in those Greater Brisbane areas and you may have planned a vacation over this weekend. I'm so sorry, but you will not be able to go. You will have to reschedule," she said.