Australia: Queensland to close border with New South Wales, records no new COVID-19 cases

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Queensland has restricted travel across the border in response to the COVID - 19 pandemic. A quarantine-free flight only carries passengers who have declared they have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and have not been in a COVID hotspot in New Zealand in the last 14 days before travel.

Australia's Queensland will extend its border closure to New South Wales ( NSW ) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to halt the spread of coronavirus from south -eastern states. It has already shut to Victoria - the centre of Australia's second wave - amid an outbreak in Melbourne. With about 19 ,500 cases in total and 232 deaths, Australia has still fared better than many countries due to effective suppression measures early in the pandemic. But since June - when most Australians emerged from a first lockdown - the outbreak in Melbourne has spiralled.

Queensland's border will close to people from New South Wales at 1:00am tomorrow.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Queensland overnight, Acting Premier Steven Miles says.

Mr Miles said masks will still need to be worn for seven more days in 11 council areas around south-east Queensland, but other restrictions will be eased.

Up to 100 people will be able to gather in homes, up from 30, and there will be no limits for people gathering outside.

Hospitality venues will also be allowed to have one patron per 2 square metres and restrictions will be lifted for visitors to hospitals and aged care.

Weddings are currently restricted to 100 people with 20 dancing at a time, that will be able to increase to 200 people, with unlimited dancing, provided people comply with one person per 2-square-metre rule.

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Queensland has recorded three new cases of COVID - 19 , including two in people that were locally acquired and in home quarantine after being linked to known cases . Key points: Premier says she "won't hesitate" to shut NSW border if cases there spread across the state. Both of those cases are related to the Greek Orthodox Community Centre cluster while the other case was recorded in hotel quarantine by a traveller who had returned from the UK. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was "good news" because the cases had been in quarantine and authorities were "not worried" that they

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is monitoring the escalating COVID - 19 situation in Greater Sydney, but will not shut the border with New South Wales "at this stage". Key points: The Premier is urging Queenslanders in NSW to come home. The Premier said because Queensland had not recorded an infectious case in the community since July 5, restrictions could ease 12 hours early, at 6:00am on Friday. "We remind everyone that the restrictions remain until then, the wearing of masks, social distancing, hygiene and importantly staying home if you are unwell go and get tested

Funerals will also increase from 100 to 200.

"In order to be able to ease these restrictions, we need to close the border to the rest of New South Wales," Mr Miles said.

"That will mirror the arrangements currently in place in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania."

Mr Miles said there would be an exceptions available for those in the zone from the Clarence Valley, west to the South Australian border, and check points will be installed at key locations.

“It will allow people to move around those communities for essential reasons, all the things that you would expect like to go to school to go to work, for healthcare or to care for others," he said.

The border zone would not include Coffs Harbour, as Mr Miles said there were some risks there.

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Queensland has recorded one new case of coronavirus. The woman, who is in her sixties, is believed to be linked to the correctional services academy cluster in Wacol, south of Brisbane. Health authorities said she had travelled to and from Russell Island on a ferry while possibly infectious in the past The latest case came as people living along Queensland 's boundary with New South Wales said they were sick of being in limbo amid the state's border restrictions. Year 12 student Lucy Baker does not think she will see her family again before the end of the school year. Just weeks from the end of term

Traffic is building at the Queensland - New South Wales border as the Sunshine State prepares to tighten restrictions further, with most NSW residents barred from entering Queensland from 1:00am. Victoria today recorded 450 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths. COVID - 19 outbreaks in Victorian disability care spark fears of same fate as nursing homes. Reuters: Lindsey Wasson. More than 70 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in disability care in Victoria, and advocates fear the sector could be headed for a similar crisis to aged care without greater support.

The state government said New South Wales will remain a declared hotspot for four weeks, with a possible earlier review pending how the outbreak south of the border develops.

Masks 'the reason' Queensland has not had community transmission

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the border closure was necessary because cases were starting to be found in parts of New South Wales outside the locked down areas.

"It is really starting to escalate," she said.

"It is important that we increase the restrictions on New South Wales."

She said mask wearing had helped limit transmission in Queensland during its recent outbreaks.

"I am positive the reason we have not had community spread recently is because people have been genuinely wearing their masks," she said.

More to come.

Queensland closes border to NSW in order to ease restrictions .
Queensland will ease some restrictions on gatherings, however mask-wearing will be required for another seven days.Queensland will close its border to all of New South Wales from 1am tomorrow in order to ease some coronavirus restrictions.

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