|COVID-19 pandemic in Queensland|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
The COVID-19 pandemic in Queensland is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID-19 ) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
On 29 January 2020, Queensland was the first to declare a public health emergency.The legislation was strengthened on 6 February by the Public Health (Declared Public Health Emergencies) Amendment Bill 2020. In March, power was given directly to the Chief Health Officer (rather than the Health Minister on behalf of the Cabinet) to make 'Directions', amongst other things allowing her to declare restrictions on movement, gatherings and business activities, to set social distancing or masking requirements, and to close borders. As of the end of July 2021, Queensland had recorded the death of just 7 patients with Covid-19. This fatality rate, of just under 1 per million residents, was the lowest not just in Australia, but of any sizeable jurisdiction with its own policing and health powers, in the world.
Key directions made under the Public Health Act 2005 include:
Restricted entry into Queensland was introduced, with only Queensland residents and those considered an 'exempt person' being allowed to enter Queensland by air, sea, rail or road from another state or territory.This was introduced in stages: Stage 1 started on 26 March 2020, with stages 2 and 3 involving tightening the restrictions. Stage 4, introduced on 11 April, was the most restrictive, every person crossing the border including Queensland residents required a permit. In addition, a person who had been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days had to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Closures of areas within Queensland included:
Access to the Torres Strait Islands has been restricted to prevent COVID-19 from reaching the region, which has to date remained free of cases.
On 1 February 2021, Queensland opened its border to all Australian states and territories except Western Australia. Since the border closures were implemented, 6,855,750 border passes were issued.
On 22 February, the first Queenslander received a COVID-19 vaccination at Gold Coast University Hospital. She was a nurse who works in that hospital's COVID-19 ward.
On 28 February 2021, the "Check in Qld" QR code sign-in/contact tracing app was launched by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D'Ath. It is based on the ACT "Check in CBR" app. Use of the app is not mandatory.
On 12 March, Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane went into lockdown after a doctor tested positive for COVID-19. This was the beginning of one cluster in Brisbane connected to that hospital. Queensland had gone 59 days without any locally acquired COVID-19 infections.
Due to a growing cluster in Bondi, Sydney, from 1am on 24 June, the Queensland government declared all of Greater Sydney was a hotspot. Border entry will be refused to anyone who lives in, or has visited: Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong or Shellharbour. Residents returning will be quarantined for 14 days. Everyone entering Queensland will have to complete a border declaration.
On 8 January 2021, a three-day lockdown was announced by Annastacia Palaszczuk to prevent spread of the more contagious UK strain of coronavirus that escaped from a Brisbane hotel quarantine. The lockdown applied to all of greater Brisbane including council areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay and Redland City from 6 pm that day. More than 2 million residents were affected.
On 29 March at 5 pm, Greater Brisbane went into yet another three-day lockdown. The step was taken when a second cluster of the UK strain of COVID-19 grew to seven people. Two of them were an un-vaccinated nurse from Princess Alexandra Hospital, and her sister.By 30 March another 8 locally acquired cases were reported, for a total of 10 new cases in the preceding 24 hours, and 2 separate clusters, both UK strain were identified. As of this date Queensland had 78 active cases in hospitals. On 31 March in Queensland 34,711 coronavirus tests and 7,596 vaccinations were conducted.
On 1 April, the "three-day" lockdown was lifted five hours early at midday. Though 10 new cases had been recorded in the previous 24 hours, there was only one case of community transmission, which was linked to the second cluster surrounding the infected nurse from the Princess Alexandra Hospital. This cluster now numbered 12, up from 7 on 29 March.
Some restrictions introduced for the lockdown were maintained temporarily:
On 28 June Queensland recorded 3 new COVID-19 cases overnight. 2 were locally acquired, one acquired overseas. A miner was found to be infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19 after returning from the Northern Territory. As a result of these cases, from 10pm on 29 June, masks became mandatory in these local government areas:
After the lockdown was expanded:
Restaurants and cafes can only provide:
On 29 June from 6pm the lockdown was expanded to new areas. All of:
went into lockdown for 3 days, till 6pm on 2 July. This move was taken after a casual clerical worker from Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, who worked outside the COVID ward as a concierge, became infected with the Delta variant and travelled from Sandgate in Brisbane to Magnetic Island and Townsville where she visited markets.
On 23 July, the border with NSW was closed from 1:00am due to locations outside Greater Sydney reporting COVID-19 cases. From 6:00am on 23 July to 6:00am on 20 August the same rules will be used across the state, except for SE Queensland where masks were still required.
In SE Queensland wearing a face mask is mandatory whenever outside the home, unless:
On 24 July 2021, there was an anti-lockdown protest in Brisbane. There were also protests in Melbourne, and in Sydney, where several people were arrested, infringement notices issued and over 50 people charged.
On 31 July from 4pm, 11 LGAs in South East Queensland went into a snap lockdown for 3 days. This was after 6 new locally acquired cases of the Delta COVID variant. The areas affected were:
Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Somerset and Scenic Rim. One of the cases is a medical student at the University of Queensland, who had been to many venues, including Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the University of Queensland, and the Translational Research Institute at Princess Alexandra Hospital.
By 1 August there were 18 locally acquired cases of Delta variant. Deputy Premier Steven Miles said that the 9 new cases were the greatest number since August 2020.
On 2 August there were 15 new cases of COVID-19, 2 overseas acquired. Consequently, the South-east Queensland’s lockdown was extended until 4:00pm on 8 August (Sunday).The same day, because of the extension, the Ekka agricultural show was cancelled for the second year, 5 days before it was to be open to the public from 7 August (Saturday).
On 8 August the lockdown in SE Queensland ended, though some restrictions remained in force, including mandatory wearing of masks.
On 9 August, Cairns went into lockdown from 4:00pm for three days. This was due to an "unexpected" case of COVID-19, a taxi driver who was infectious in the community for ten days.
COVID-19 cumulative cases in Queensland
COVID-19 daily cases in Queensland
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We would put the entire future of this festival in jeopardy if we charged ahead this year ….", and "… it was simply too risky with most patrons and artists coming from outside of Queensland – Greg Cavanagh, chairman of Gympie Music Muster, re. 2021 cancellation