A snap lockdown starting at 5pm on Monday 29 March in Brisbane is threatening to spark nationwide travel chaos just days out from Easter. Here’s hoping that’s not the case.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ordered a three-day lockdown for Greater Brisbane from 5pm on Monday after four new community cases of COVID-19 were detected in the past 24 hours.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the three-day lockdown will include Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands.
“I know this is a really big call. I know it is very tough but let’s do it now and let’s do it right,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
“I didn’t sleep last night so I think I am very worried, I’m very concerned,” she said.
“But we’ve done it before, we’ve got through this together, and I’m sure that if everyone does the right thing we will be able to get through it.”
The rules of Greater Brisbane’s snap three-day lockdown will be the same as January’s lockdown, with just four valid reasons to leave home.
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown will be reviewed on Thursday, ahead of the Easter holiday break this weekend.
Anyone who has been in Brisbane since March 20 has been told to abide by the lockdown.
One of the cases had travelled to Gladstone from March 25 to March 28 and two cases also visited Byron Bay in NSW while they were infectious.
Other states and territories are expected to impose quarantine requirements on travellers from Brisbane.
The lockdown will cause major concern and headaches for families planning to visit Brisbane over Easter, as well as the many thousands of hospitality and tourism companies who rely on their business.
Virgin Australia says their services to and from Brisbane today are operating as normal though options include the ability to rebook on alternative Virgin Australia services or obtain a travel credit for use at a later stage.
The news comes as another smack in the face for the travel industry just one day after JobKeeper payments were wound up.
Treasury estimates up to 150,000 jobs could be lost without the wage subsidies, with about 100,000 vulnerable businesses expected to collapse.
Travel industry groups, Labor and the unions and have called for JobKeeper payments to be extended for some of the hardest-hit sectors, including travel and tourism.
Travel agents and tour companies call for ongoing Jobkeeper support have to date fallen on deaf ears with the government. Instead, a second round of the $130 million travel support program will be announced in April.
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