Second wave fears: Border ban widens, mask warnings

 

More than 600,000 people from 104 Sydney suburbs are now banned from entering Queensland as a lockout of a new hot spot takes effect.

A lockout of residents from 27 suburbs within the Fairfield local government area took effect from 1am Monday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday Fairfield had been added to the list of Sydney hot spots after advice from Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

About 96,000 people have entered the state since July 10, with 2,200 turned back at borders.

Police patrol the border between NSW and Queensland. More than 600,000 Sydney residents are now banned from enterting the state. Picture: Adam Head
Police patrol the border between NSW and Queensland. More than 600,000 Sydney residents are now banned from enterting the state. Picture: Adam Head

Any Queenslanders travelling from Fairfield who had been there in the previous 14 days will be directed to hotel quarantine at their own expense.

"The declaration adds Fairfield to declarations in effect for travellers from Campbelltown, Liverpool and Victoria," she said.

Other people who have visited Fairfield, and are not a resident of Queensland, will be turned around at the border unless they have an exemption.

Queensland's Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said authorities have been working together to ensure the border crossing was as straightforward as possible.

"We're very well supported on the borders by the Australian Defence Force, SES and the Department of Main Roads, yesterday the ADF pushed out resources when things got a little bit congested for a while," he said.

"We recognise people are very frustrated and we just have to work together".

He said Queensland police visited 958 licenced premises across the state on the weekend, enforcing new rules that meant everyone had to be seated from Friday.

"We took an educative approach, informing, advising people what to do".

"There were a couple of formal warnings where people had got it wrong".

"There have been improvements on that, but lines outside are pretty low risk, the real concern is we have people gathering inside, particularly with alcohol involved".

It comes as one of the state's top infectious disease experts warns Queenslanders that they should never go out without a mask as the state will not escape a second wave of COVID-19.

"Any prudent Queenslander should always have a mask in their pocket or their bag for times when it is not possible to social distance, like public transport, anywhere that is a bit cramped. The second wave is likely to be more dangerous," Prof Booy, a professorial fellow at National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), said.

 

But Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Steven Miles, said carrying a mask in public was not necessary in the Sunshine State.

Mr Miles said there was a very low risk of being exposed to the virus in Queensland.

"When that changes, the Chief Health Officer will provide advice to that effect," he said.

"At the moment, the health advice is that masks aren't necessary."

 

Originally published as Second wave fears: Border ban widens, mask warnings


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