Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

December 17, 2020

Queenslanders who plan to visit greater Sydney – in particular the Northern Beaches region – should consider the risk of these areas being declared a COVID-19 hotspot, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned on Thursday afternoon.

This follows the news that NSW Health has confirmed 17 cases of COVID-19 have been identified on Wednesday and Thursday in the Northern Beaches council area.

People living in the Northern Beaches area – which stretches from Manly to Palm Beach and west to Terrey Hills – have been told by NSW authorities to work from home and remain at home as much as possible, avoid unnecessary gatherings, keep to their household group and avoid unnecessary travel.

The alert has prompted some tighter restrictions in Queensland.

“To protect vulnerable Queenslanders, anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches region in NSW since December 11 will not be able to visit Queensland residential aged care centres, hospitals or correctional facilities,” Premier Palaszczuk tweeted.

She said Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young was closely monitoring the latest cases.

Dr Young said it was an “evolving” situation.

“The next 24 hours are critical in suppressing the risk of the virus spreading,” she said.

“NSW has issued a number of public health alerts, where the recently confirmed cases have been while infectious.

“It’s vital that anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches region – especially in any of the venues listed in the NSW public health alerts – follows the health advice issued by NSW.

“That health advice includes that anyone who was at the Avalon Beach RSL on December 11 must immediately get tested and quarantine for 14 days in their home or in their current accommodation.

“I am also asking anyone that has been in the Northern Beaches region since December 11 to monitor their health and immediately get tested if they develop any symptoms.

“Contact tracing is currently underway by NSW Health, however any person currently in Queensland who may have been in any of those areas is urged to proactively get tested if they develop any symptoms.”

Dr Young said it was important for Queenslanders to remain vigilant and “continue to practice physical distancing, hand washing and staying at home if you are unwell and to get tested if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms”.

* * *

UPDATE 10:00pm:

Queensland Health released a statement:

  • Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday, December 11, and is already in Queensland should get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.
  • Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday, December 11, and arrives in Queensland on a flight from Sydney after midnight Thursday (December 17) must get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.
  • Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday, December 11, and arrives in Queensland on a flight from Sydney after 1:00am on Saturday (December 19) must go into hotel quarantine at their own expense for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches, and get tested.

This includes both interstate visitors and Queensland residents returning home.

Dr Young said the situation would continue to be closely monitored.

  • The current NSW Health advice and a full list of locations is available online

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