Queensland Returnees Banned From Visiting Aged Care Homes


People who have travelled to Victoria since Dec. 21 will be banned from visiting Queensland’s aged care facilities and hospitals.

The new restriction will be introduced from 1 a.m. on Monday and also applies to other vulnerable facilities like disability accommodation and prisons, chief health officer Jeannette Young said on Sunday.

“We’re responding quickly to protect people in these facilities by restricting any visitors who have been in high-risk locations so we can keep them as safe as possible,” she said.

Queensland recorded zero new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the state having gone 110 days without a community-acquired case.

It is 17 days since anyone in the community has been infectious in the state.

Recent positive cases have been reported in hotel quarantine although a child who returned from Pakistan is the only one this weekend.

It brings to 13 the number of active cases in Queensland with seven on the Gold Coast, five in Brisbane and one on the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s just important that people keep on testing,” Young said.

She said the number of fever clinics across the state would increase from the 76 open on Saturday and the hours of operation extended.

She advised people to “keep engaged” while on holiday to stay alert because things could “unfortunately rapidly change.”

The border is already closed to anyone who has been in the COVID-declared hotspots of greater Sydney and surrounding areas in the past 14 days. Those restrictions are expected to be reviewed on Jan. 8.

“We don’t need to extend any border restrictions to Melbourne or Victoria but we’re keeping a very close eye on that,” she said.

Queenslanders who have been in Victoria on or since Dec. 21 were earlier advised to get tested straight away and quarantine at home or their accommodation until they get their results.

Border declaration passes are also needed for travellers who have visited NSW since Dec. 11.

Young thanked those waiting at facilities to be tested but encouraged people to look at the Queensland Health website for other site options when centres were busy.

“If your nearest testing facility is experiencing delays, please check other locations,” she said.

Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates said people were turned away from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on Saturday night.

“I am dismayed as to why this clinic closed at 9 p.m. despite only hours earlier Labor urged anyone from Queensland who’d been to Victoria since December 21 to immediately get tested,” she told reporters.

Young noted it was a year to the day since she was told about a potential new virus circulating in China.