Qld closed to northern beaches residents

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has made an announcement on the fate of NSW would-be travellers.

While the state recognised Sydney’s Northern Beaches as a hotspot, anyone travelling from other parts of Sydney or the state will still be allowed to enter.

The response has left Christmas plans for many Australians in tatters, but the Premier said she had no choice as the cluster from Sydney’s Northern Beaches rocketed to 28 on Friday.

“If people are from the Northern Beaches, it would be well advised for them to stay on the Northern Beaches,” she told reporters on Friday.

“When the NSW Premier says she is on high alert, we are on high alert as well.”

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Ms Palaszczuk, who cut her holiday plans short to return and manage the escalating threat, said “we have come too far and sacrificed too much to risk going backwards”.

“We can’t afford to undo all that good work.”

The Sunshine State will enforce mandatory hotel quarantine from 1am Saturday for anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches region, while those who have already entered were told to isolate for 14 days from their last visit to the hotspot.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said her team will continue to watch as the outbreak develops but was confident the targeted restriction would be sufficient following the success of shutting out Adelaide residents during its recent outbreak.

“We just have to continue to be really cautious,” she said.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation in the Northern Beaches and could well expand through other parts of Sydney.

“So here in Queensland, we have to be ready. Please, when you go to those venues that have QR codes or have processes to check contact details, it is critically important that you give them your contact details so that if we have something happen, we can immediately contact people and get on top of clusters as quickly as we can.”

The update comes as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed a case linked to the Northern Beaches cluster travelled to Queensland on a domestic flight.

The woman was tested once she arrived, after learning of the growing cluster in Sydney, and visited the Sunshine Coast and The Glen Hotel in Eight Mile Plains before being diagnosed with the deadly virus.

Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Friday morning the number of cases linked to the cluster had shot from 17 to 28, following reports infections had spread to suburbs on the southern side of Sydney.

The Cronulla RSL was forced to close for 24 hours for thorough cleaning and was awaiting further advice from the NSW Health.

It comes as public spaces on Sydney’s northern beaches, including libraries, skate parks and golf courses, will be closed for three days as the council area grapples with the latest outbreak.

Northern Beaches Council issued the advice early on Friday which stated that it had taken “strong measures” to protect the health of the community.

The closure encompasses parks (with organised sport banned), libraries, aquatic centres, gyms, art galleries and creative spaces, playgrounds, skate parks, tennis courts, golf courses, community centres and several council-run offices.

All spaces will be closed until Monday.

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