Queensland braces for multiple new virus cases

Marty SilkAAP
VideoQueensland on alert as mystery Covid case emerges in aviation worker.

Queensland is reportedly set to record three new unlinked cases of COVID-19 in Brisbane, raising concerns about this weekend’s NRL grand final and a possible lockdown.

Queensland Health announced on Monday night that an aviation industry worker had tested positive for virus, sparking a public health alert for four venues in the city’s north and south.

The man in his 30s visited a McDonald’s in Albany Creek, a childcare centre in Eatons Hill and stores in Rocklea and Aspley while infectious.

He has no recent history of overseas of interstate travel and authorities are probing the source of his infection.

Another person has also reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at the Adalong Student Guesthouse in South Brisbane.

A Queensland Health spokesperson refused to provide any further information despite multiple media outlets reporting the case, saying the premier and health minister would hold a news conference on Tuesday morning.

However, police confirmed they were at the guesthouse after being called in by Queensland Health.

The wife of the man in his 30s has also tested positive, according to News Corp Australia.

The aviation worker and his wife are reportedly not linked to the hostel guest.

The three cases come after 55260 people attended two NRL preliminary finals matches in Brisbane at the weekend.

Another 70,000 people attended the RiverFire festival on the Saturday night.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young relaxed face mask rules on Friday night, mandating them only for when people are standing or moving around indoors.

The new cases have raised concerns about the NRL grand final to be held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Queensland has earlier reported zero new cases for Monday and Dr Young said people should “prepare and hope” for the state’s borders to reopen in time for Christmas.

But she couldn’t say whether reaching vaccine coverage of 80 per cent of eligible Queenslanders would trigger a reopening of the state’s borders before December 25.

The borders have been closed to most of NSW since July 21, to Greater Sydney since June 22, regional Victoria since July 17 and Melbourne since May 28.

Th state government has consistently sidestepped questions about whether the borders will reopen to NSW and Victoria before Christmas.

Dr Young raised hopes hard borders could come down before the festive period, saying businesses should start getting ready.

“Of course, yes, we should all prepare and hope and get everyone vaccinated,” she told reporters on Monday.

“That’s the most important thing business can do - to be out there saying, ‘Just get vaccinated’, because the more people who are vaccinated, the more likely we can remove those last remaining restrictions.”

Borders are not specifically mentioned under the national reopening plan, but some states have committed to quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated people once coverage reaches 80 per cent.

Queensland had given 63.8 per cent of eligible residents at least one dose by Saturday, with 44.9 per cent fully vaccinated.

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