Greater Brisbane will enter a full three-day lockdown from 6pm tonight after a case of the highly contagious UK strain of coronavirus was detected yesterday.
All residents living in Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be forced to stay at home until 6pm on Monday in an attempt to halt the deadly virus in its tracks.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this morning announced that the decision had been made to initiate a short sharp lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive.
“There are no second chances with this pandemic. That’s why I’m asking people to have a long weekend at home,” she said.
Those living in the affected areas will be forced to stay at home and only venture out if it is for essential work, providing care for a vulnerable person, exercise, or to buy essentials such as groceries and medicine.
Real estate agents across the city are having to frantically make alternative plans for planned home inspections this weekend, though the previous lockdown means many are prepared.
Elever agent Nick Roche explained FaceTime would now be the platform of choice for viewings this weekend.
“A lot of our properties are vacant,” he explained, “and many of our buyers are from Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, even Switzerland, so we’ll just be carrying on with digital viewings for many of them.
“It will obviously affect open homes planned for this weekend, but we’ll still be able to have some individual viewings through properties with FaceTime.”
With a work Plan B sorted, Nick was still bummed about his social plans.
“It was supposed to be my friend’s 21st birthday party tomorrow!” he lamented.
The Queensland Premier is likely to face a backlash over the severity of the measures, but was remaining firm in the face of any criticism.
“We have learned from Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales that a short, sharp lockdown is better than a long one and this a more contagious strain. Three days is better than 30.”
All we can do is stay home and stay safe and please get testedQueensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
The Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that extra testing centres had been opened and encouraged as many people as possible to come forward for testing.
“We want to see as many people tested as possible and people stay home and stay safe,” she said.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young echoed the Health Minister’s words and said it was essential that people stay at home to prevent the risk of the virus spiralling out of control.
We know that to stop the spread of the virus we have to stop the movement of people and test, test, testQueensland Chief Health Officer – Dr Jeanette Young
“Queenslanders have done a tremendous job of containing this virus for so long – we just have to keep it up,” Dr Young said.