Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

December 20, 2020

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced tighter restrictions on NSW residents in the wake of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases linked to the Avalon cluster.

Thirty new cases of community transmission were reported in NSW on Sunday, taking the total number of cases linked to the cluster to 68.

The Greater Sydney area – all of Sydney as well as the Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Nepean-Blue Mountains areas – will be a declared “hotspot” from 1:00am on Monday.

NSW residents from this declared hotspot will not be allowed into Queensland without an exemption.

Queenslanders who are in Greater Sydney have until 1:00am on Tuesday to get home and must then quarantine for 14 days at home.

After this, Queenslanders returning from Greater Sydney will be required to undertake 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young emphasised that anyone already in Queensland who has been in Greater Sydney since December 11 should get tested and stay isolated until their results come through.

All people travelling from NSW must now have a Border Declaration Pass.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told media on Sunday there would be increased checkpoints at Queensland / NSW road borders.

Police are already undertaking random spot checks on the roads.

The NSW Government has alerted Queensland health authorities there are 15 people in Queensland who have been close contacts with cases linked to the Avalon cluster.

These people are now being traced.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath again urged residents in North Cairns, Townsville, Cleveland and the Gold Coast to get tested if they have even the slightest symptoms as viral fragments have been detected in local sewage.

Ms D’Ath also said all Queensland venues now have 72 hours to move away from paper registrations to electronic registrations.

This follows problems deciphering some of the sign-ins at the Glen Hotel at Eight Mile Plains, one of the key contact tracing sites during the latest alert.

“Paper registration of customers is not sufficient – we are now asking you to take details electronically, and we will begin to enforce that in 72 hours from now,” Ms D’Ath said.

“A compliance blitz in the coming days will include spot-checks and inspections as an additional safeguard for the community.

“We cannot wait until positive cases are in the community again before we act – COVID-19 is just as contagious as it was earlier in the year, even though our restrictions have eased.”

Premier Palaszczuk strongly urged everyone in Queensland to get back to their COVID-safe basics.

“It’s vitally important that everyone follows the hygiene and social distancing advice in all situations, day in and day out, and get tested if they feel at all unwell with COVID-19 symptoms,” she said.

Two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Queensland on Sunday – both in hotel quarantine.

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