Cancel your Easter holidays to Queensland, the NSW government has urged the state’s residents, as Brisbane battles an emerging coronavirus outbreak.
Greater Brisbane has been ordered into a snap three-day lockdown after a coronavirus cluster grew to seven cases, sparking fears of significant community transmission.
NSW is on high alert too, after a number of venues in Byron Bay were visited by two of the newly diagnosed cases.
Contact tracers have identified almost 1500 people who attended venues during the exposure risk periods.
Queensland Health advises anyone who was in Greater Brisbane on or since March 20 but has since left must follow the same lockdown rules.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stressed the southern state would not shut the border, but asked residents eyeing a trip north over the Easter break to change their plans.
“If you were going to Queensland for a holiday unfortunately we will ask you to reconsider, especially you shouldn’t go to Greater Brisbane,” she told reporters on Monday.
“Holiday in NSW.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard also had a simple message for anyone who’d visited the Greater Brisbane region and planned to attend Bluesfest in Byron Bay over the weekend.
“Don’t. Don’t come,” he said.
Up to 16,000 people will flood through the festival gates each day.
Organisers were in the process of working out ticket refunds, he said.
A number of places in the Byron Bay area have been identified as potential exposure sites.
Patrons who visited the Byron Beach Hotel between 7.15pm and 8.30pm on March 26, the Mokha Cafe between 10:30am and 11:30am on March 27, or The Farm at Ewingsdale between 8am and 9:30pm must immediately get tested and isolate.
Anyone who attended the Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park public toilets during certain times on March 26 and 27 must also quarantine until further notice.
NSW Health would know more about the risk soon, and contact them if anything changed, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
Several other venues have been listed as casual contact venues, meaning anyone who visited must get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
Health authorities are particularly concerned about the Byron region, as hordes of people move between northern NSW and southeast Queensland each day.
The next few days would be a critical time for NSW, Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is an evolving situation and I’m concerned about the the community transmission in Greater Brisbane because it does suggest that there were previous strands of the virus which were undetected,” she said.
The scare comes as a wide range of restrictions in NSW lift completely.
Masks are no longer mandatory anywhere in NSW, there is no limit on the number of visitors allowed in homes, caps on weddings and funerals are gone and dancing and singing is allowed in any environment.