Greater Brisbane declared Covid hotspot

People in masks walk through the Brisbane CBD while the city is in lockdown

Australia reported eight new locally acquired Covid-19 cases in Queensland on Tuesday (March 30) and authorities warned more could emerge as the state scrambles to quash an outbreak linked to the highly contagious United Kingdom variant of the coronavirus.

She says there are now two distinct clusters of the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19 in Greater Brisbane, which has been locked down to stem the spread.

Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane was put into lock down on Tuesday night as the city's Covid cluster surged to 15 cases.

A Gold Coast tradie, who worked as an entertainer at a hen's party the women attended at The Farm at Byron, has also been struck down by COVID-19.

The person visited the private maternity section as well as a nearby coffee shop popular with staff.

As of last night, two close contacts and 11 casual contacts have been identified in the ACT.

Another eight coronavirus cases emerged on Tuesday, with two clusters triggering concern the Greater Brisbane lockdown may be expanded and extended. "Now we need to do this now to avoid a longer lockdown", Premier Palaszczuk said.

"In terms of the Greater Brisbane region, we just have to take this day-by-day", she said.

"Dr Chant is in regular contact with Queensland authorities, but suffice to say we are expecting more cases from Queensland and hopefully most of those cases will be people in isolation, although we have to assume this is an evolving situation".

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More cases are expected, she said.

One reader told Canberra Weekly they waited more than three hours at the EPIC testing site today after returning from Greater Brisbane on 11 March.

As of 5:00pm Monday, people in five local government areas that make up Greater Brisbane - Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton and Redlands - are under strict stay-at-home orders under the snap three-day lockdown.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said six of the locally acquired cases had all been linked to known cases, with two other cases under investigation.

"The message here is that people should be on alert, no matter where they are in Queensland", Dr Young said.

Greater Brisbane has been declared a Covid-19 hotspot for the goal of commonwealth support as Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly warns travellers to stay up to date with border closures.

Under the new rules, any health worker who has not completed their vaccine schedule will not be allowed to work with COVID patients.

"It stands to reason that maybe if these staff had been vaccinated (or) not been treating COVID-positive cases, then we might not be in a lockdown", shadow health minister Ros Bates said.

More than 41,000 frontline workers have received their first jab already, but only about 7000 are fully vaccinated.

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