Queensland has recorded two new Covid-19 cases with the NRL Grand Final to go ahead after fears were raised the sporting event could be cancelled.
Health officials intend to use the sporting event – which is expected to attract thousands of spectators – to boost vaccination rates and will set up clinics around Brisbane’s Lang Park on Sunday.
‘There will be two locations, one at the north and one at the south entry,’ health minister Yvette D’Ath said during a press conference on Saturday.
‘If you get a chance, pop along and get vaccinated before the game or you can come along and make a booking to come and get vaccinated.’
Of the new cases, both were children of a man from the aviation cluster at Eatons Hill in Brisbane.
‘They are young individuals in the household, so it is unlikely they have been to other exposure sites beyond what their parents have, but, of course, that investigation is occurring at the moment,’ Ms D’Ath said.
Queensland has recorded two new Covid-19 cases with the NRL Grand Final to go ahead after fears were raised the sporting event could be cancelled
The premier again denied she was resisting ordering a lockdown because of the NRL grand final in Brisbane on Sunday and the Rugby Championship double header on the Gold Coast on Saturday night (pictured, NRL fans crowded during NRL Grand Final fan day on Friday)
Ms D’Ath also took aim at federal government plans to restart international travel for states that reach above the 80 per cent vaccination target.
Returning travellers may be allowed to home quarantine for seven days instead of the current two-week mandatory hotel quarantine and may be able to skip it altogether if coming back from a country which shares a ‘travel bubble’ with Australia.
The re-opening of the international border would mean that NSW and Victoria residents will be able to fly to London or New York before Brisbane or Perth due to state border closures.
‘I saw the reference to Bali in today’s paper,’ Ms D’Ath said. ‘Where people will be able to travel to Bali and back, but may not be able to travel to Queensland.’
‘Can I say I don’t know if anyone wants to be travelling to Bali right now when they recorded 1,693 cases two days ago and the seven day average for Bali, over the last week, is 1,900 cases a day.’
It comes after premier Annastacia Palaszczuk avoided on Friday tightening stage-two restrictions in six local government areas in Townsville and south-east Queensland.
‘If we do see any unlinked community transmission, I’m quite sure that Dr Young will not hesitate to recommend a lockdown,’ Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
‘That’s good news for the moment, Queensland. So keep up that great work.’
The premier again denied she was resisting ordering a lockdown because of the NRL grand final in Brisbane on Sunday and the Rugby Championship double header on the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
She said if there is evidence of seeding or community spread before either of those events she will tighten restrictions.
‘Can I just make it very clear: if the advice is to go into lockdown, we will go into lockdown. OK,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk said if there is evidence of seeding or community spread before either of those events she will tighten restrictions
Face masks must be worn indoors unless people are eating or drinking, and outdoors where people cannot socially distance
‘So there’s no ifs and buts here, people. This is serious.
‘It’s going to depend whether we see any unlinked community transmission over the next 24 to 48 hours.’
There are now eight cases connected to the aviation cluster, with another four separate single-person clusters across the southeast and Townsville.
Dr Young said her main concern was the man who was infectious in the community at Kirra and Coolangatta between Saturday and Wednesday.
‘Anyone who has been to any of the venues or anywhere in that part of the Gold Coast over the last week, if you’ve got any symptoms at all now is the time to really please come forward and get tested,’ she said.
Stage-two restrictions are now in place in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan, Townsville and Palm Island regions.
Visitors to private homes are capped at 30 people and capacity limits of one person per four square metres have been imposed in indoor venues such as cafes, restaurants, cinemas and theatres.
Panthers player Jarome Luai made an appearance during the NRL Grand Final fan day on Friday
Brian To’o, Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary attend the NRL Grand Final fan day on Friday
Weddings and funerals are capped at 100 people, and crowds at large venues such as the NRL grand final will be restricted to 75 per cent capacity.
There are more than 160 exposure sites listed across Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay and Townsville, including 38 close-contact venues.
Face masks must be worn indoors unless people are eating or drinking, and outdoors where people cannot socially distance.
Dr Young said anyone living in the six restricted regions must abide by the same rules, such as face-mask wearing, no matter where they travel in the state.
‘You’ve got to follow exactly the same restrictions as if you’re at home,’ she said.
‘And those people who are coming from areas that don’t have those restrictions, (must follow the rules) when they come into an area that does have the restrictions.’
Queensland also recorded one new virus case in hotel quarantine, which was overseas acquired, on Friday.