“Victoria’s own assessment of the situation is that the risk of spread is right across the state, not just in Melbourne, which is why they have imposed restrictions across their entire state.”
As a result anyone in Queensland who has been in Victoria on or since December 21 has been urged to should get tested and quarantine at home or their accommodation until they receive a negative result.
She said anyone still considering travel to NSW or Victoria needed to be aware they may not have enough time to return home before hotel quarantine is imposed if border restrictions change.
“And if you’re already in Victoria or New South Wales, consider coming home,” Dr Young added.
Queensland now remains one of the only states not directly impacted by the new outbreak to not have expanded travel restrictions to broader sections of NSW or into Victoria.
It comes as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced masks would become mandatory in some indoor spaces across greater Sydney from Sunday and new restrictions would be placed on venues after seven new locally acquired cases were reported, with 10 also detected in Victoria.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters on Saturday all new locally acquired cases were linked to the existing Black Rock cluster, with genomic testing also directly linking it to one centred in Sydney’s northern beaches.
South Australia and Western Australia have now closed their borders to NSW and Victoria, respectively, with Tasmanian authorities on Saturday barring travellers who had recently visited nine sites linked to the Victorian cluster.
Only people who have been in the declared greater Sydney hotspot region are barred from entering Queensland via its hard border, reintroduced last week. However, all travellers from NSW are required to present a border pass on arrival.
A spike in demand from skittish Queensland-bound travellers led one domestic airline to add a last-minute flight between Melbourne and Brisbane on Friday, amid calls for people to be given enough notice of any hotspot expansions.
Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates has called for people to be given “as much notice as possible” should the Greater Sydney hotspot be expanded across NSW and into Victoria.
Queensland’s new infection on Saturday, a boy who had recently returned from Pakistan, brings the state’s active caseload to 13.
A total of 3360 tests had been conducted in the previous 24 hours.
Genome sequencing of test samples has now confirmed three of the people now infected in Queensland were carrying virus strains originating from South Africa and the United Kingdom, believed to be more contagious.
Matt Dennien is a reporter with Brisbane Times.