Brisbane goes into three-day lockdown tonight

By Te Ao - Māori News

At 5pm (Australian time) today the Queensland city of Brisbane will go into a three-day lockdown after four cases of Covid-19 were detected in the community.

Two of those cases are linked to a landscaper who tested positive to the UK strain of the virus on Thursday. It is the first time that particular strain has entered Australia. The other two cases have an unknown origin.

Queensland Premiere Annastacia Palaszczuk told media at a press conference today, "I didn't sleep last night. I'm very worried, I'm very concerned. But if everyone does the right thing, we'll get through it." 

There are roughly 2.5 million people who live in Brisbane, and more than five million people in the state of Queensland. One estimate has 220,000 Kiwis living in the sunny state.

Once the lockdown begins, residents in the areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan and Redlands will be required to stay home. Palaszczuk says people in these areas can only leave home for the following four reasons:

1. To buy essentials such as groceries or medications

2. Work or study if peoplecan’t do either from home

3. Exercise in a local area

4. Healthcare or to provide help, care or support

Palaszczuk says, "Residents of these areas must also wear masks indoors except at home, including in rideshares, on public transport and in workplaces.

"Cafés, pubs and restaurants will be open only for take-away service.

"Schools in the locked down areas will remain open for children of essential workers."

For the rest of Queensland, everyone is advised to wear masks and private gatherings are restricted to 30 people.

The restrictions will be reviewed on Wednesday evening.