Easter holidays thrown into chaos

Millions of Australians have had their Easter holiday plans thrown into chaos, wreaking havoc on an already struggling Queensland tourism sector.

One in seven people were expected to travel to the Sunshine State over the next month.

The Tourism and Events Queensland data predicted more than 3.5 million Australians would make their way across the border, injecting $1bn into the economy.

But holiday plans are now up in the air after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday announced Greater Brisbane would enter a snap, three-day lockdown from 5pm.

The state recorded an alarming 10 new cases in the 24 hours to Monday morning.

While parts of Queensland remain open to visitors, those planning an Easter break to Greater Brisbane have had their holidays thrown into chaos.
While parts of Queensland remain open to visitors, those planning an Easter break to Greater Brisbane have had their holidays thrown into chaos.

While six were acquired overseas, four were the result of community transmission and were all the highly contagious UK variant.

Two of the cases are linked to the latest cluster, but health authorities are scrambling to work out how two other people contracted the virus.

Ms Palaszczuk said her government had declared Greater Brisbane a hotspot and urged premiers from other states across the country to do the same thing.

The West Australian government was quick to change its border rules with Queensland, implementing new control orders on Saturday, almost 48 hours before the lockdown was announced.

Anyone who arrived in the state from 12.01am on Saturday, March 27, now needs to complete 14 days of self-quarantine and present for testing.

Tasmania updated its public health advice on Monday after news of the lockdown broke.

Anyone who has travelled to the Greater Brisbane local government areas in the past 14 days is now no longer permitted to enter the state unless they are classified as an essential traveller.

Brisbane and the surrounding regions were expecting a bumper Easter crowd. Picture: Supplied
Brisbane and the surrounding regions were expecting a bumper Easter crowd. Picture: Supplied

Queenslanders are still allowed into South Australia and the Northern Territory; however, anyone who has travelled since March 11 and has visited any of the hotspot venues must get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Victoria has also kept its border open to the Sunshine State, instead changing its classification of Greater Brisbane to that of an "orange zone", meaning people must get tested within three days of their arrival and isolate until they get the results.

Queenslanders and people returning home to NSW are still permitted to enter the state, provided they have not visited one of the venues exposed to COVID-19.

Anyone trying to enter the state who has been in the Greater Brisbane area from March 27 is also required to complete a declaration form.

Originally published as Easter holidays thrown into chaos


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