Southeast Queenslanders who feared another lockdown breathed a collective sigh of relief on Sunday.

State government officials called a press conference to announce they had found a likely transmission link that is key to tracing a new outbreak of the British variant of COVID-19.

That means another snap lockdown isn't happening, at least not right now.

It's in contrast to the last outbreak in Brisbane earlier this year.

In January, a single case of the UK variant set events in motion that led to a snap three-day lockdown.

But Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said she felt differently about the situation this time around.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said another lockdown could be prevented if residents do the right thing. Picture: Richard Walker
Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said another lockdown could be prevented if residents do the right thing. Picture: Richard Walker

"The reason we locked down (in January) was because that was the very, very first case of B117, this very contagious variant, in the country," she said on Sunday.

"And we just didn't quite understand it, know what we needed to do.

"So that's why I recommended that we needed to, while we worked out what was going on."

Dr Young said the state's experience with the new variant in recent months has improved health officials' ability to handle the outbreak.

But, she cautioned the situation could change and another lockdown could be on the cards if things go wrong.

She urged residents to wear masks indoors, to respect capacity rules in public venues, maintain physical distancing and get tested if they felt sick.

"If we can do all those things, then we might be able to prevent a lockdown," she said.

The new case reported on Sunday is the brother of one of the cases announced this week as part of the latest outbreak.

He had likely been sick earlier and was believed to be the missing transmission link between the first and the second case reported in recent days.

Originally published as Explained: Why southeast Qld hasn't gone into lockdown


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