Queensland’s Covid outbreak is continuing to escalate after 37 new venue alerts were issued on Wednesday afternoon, including popular nightclubs, bars, a Westfield shopping centre and a TAFE.
Hamilton Hotel has been added to the list of high alert venues after a Covid-infected patron visited the bar between 2.20pm and 5.20 pm on Tuesday.
Anyone at the pub at the same time is considered to be a close contact and must self-isolate for 14 days and get tested immediately.
Newstead Brewing on Doggett Street – one of Brisbane’s most popular bars – has been added to the state’s casual contact locations.
Meanwhile, strict coronavirus restrictions will be enforced on Easter celebrations in Byron Bay after New South Wales recorded one new case.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new rules for the far northern NSW holiday hotspot and the surrounding Ballina, Tweed and Lismore local government areas, which come into effect 5pm Wednesday and continue over the Easter long weekend until midnight April 5.
The latest NSW case is linked to the Brisbane cluster sparked by an infected hospital nurse who unknowingly spread the virus at a hen’s party in Byron Bay last week.
The northern NSW man aged in his 20s tested positive on Tuesday night after sitting within close proximity to an infected hen’s party from Queensland at the Byron Beach Hotel last Friday. He is now in isolation.
Gatherings in homes, including holiday rental properties have been restricted to a maximum 30 people in the four northern NSW local government areas.
Public indoor settings including hospitality venues must revert back to the one person per four square metre rule while the wearing of masks in shops, public transport and taxis will be mandatory.
Masks are now mandatory in all businesses, taxis and on public transport in Byron Bay and the surrounding Tweed, Ballina and Lismore local government areas. Pictured is a waitress wearing a mask in Byron Bay on Wednesday
The latest NSW case attended the Byron Beach Hotel (pictured) last Friday night, where the man aged in his 20s was sitting within close proximity to an infected hen’s party from Queensland
More venues in Byron Bay have also been added to NSW Health’s COVID-19 exposure site list, including a burger bar, surf shop and women’s clothes store.
Two Ballina venues have also been added after the NSW case attended a tavern and golf course while unknowingly infectious on Sunday March 28.
Anyone who attended the Henry Rous Tavern on Sunday between 1.20pm- 2.20pm or the Ballina Golf and Sports Club pro shop 2:25pm-2:35pm must immediately get tested and self-isolate until further advice is provided by NSW Health.
New NSW restrictions
The following restrictions apply to the Byron Bay, Ballina, Tweed and Lismore local government areas, which come into affect from 5pm Wednesday (march 31) and continue over Easter until 11:59pm Monday April 5
– Home gatherings restricted to 30 people, including holiday rentals
– One person per four square metre rule in public indoor settings including hospitality venues
– Customers must be seated at all times in venues
– Mandatory masks in shops, transport, taxis
NSW Health has adopted a cautious approach to minimise the risk of further transmission.
‘We want you to limit the number of people that come to your home to 30 and, as we know, during this time of year, there may be house parties or other events,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
‘We want all of those limited to 30 and please make sure you have a list of everyone who attended or is attending your home.’
All public indoor settings, including hospitality venues must revert back to the four square metre rule, where customers must stay seated at all times.
‘The positive news in all of this is we’re not saying to businesses shut your doors, quite the opposite,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘We are saying you can keep your doors open but because of the risk that is there, we want you to be extra cautious.
‘Until the end of Easter, you are able to keep your doors open but make sure you revert to the four square metre rule and make sure that all of your patrons are seated and not standing up and mingling.’
‘Given what has been identified since 8pm last night, the community and our citizens would understand why we are taking these measures.’
Gladys Berjiklian (pictured on Wednesday) announced the new restrictions, which come into effect 5pm Wednesday and continue over the Easter long weekend until midnight April 5.
The restrictions come as thousands flock to Byron Bay for this weekend’s Bluesfest. Pictured is a security guard manning the festival entrance on Wednesday
NEW SOUTH WALES VENUES ON ALERT
Henry Rous Tavern, 117 River Street
Sunday March 28 from 1.20pm to 2.20pm
East Ballina, Ballina Golf and Sports Club (Pro Shop), Jameson Avenue
Sunday March 28 from 2.25pm to 2.35pm
Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co – Patrons who sat in the laneway (Feros Arcade)
Saturday March 27 from 11am to 12pm
Black Sheep in Byron Bay
Saturday March 27 from 12.30pm to 12.40pm
Byron Beach Hotel in Byron Bay
Friday March 26 from 7.15pm to 9pm
Ghanda Clothing in Byron Bay
Saturday March 27 from 12pm to 12.15pm
Mokha Café – Patrons sitting inside or out the front of the venue (not in laneway in Feros Arcade)
Saturday March 27 from 11.00am to 12.00pm
Mokha Café – Patrons who sat in the laneway (Feros Arcade)
Saturday March 27 from 11.00am to 12.00pm
Quiksilver Byron Bay
Saturday March 27 from 12.40pm to 12.45pm
Tiger Lily Byron Bay
Saturday March 27 from 12.25pm to 12.30pm
The Farm Byron Bay in Ewingsdale
Sunday March 28 from 8.45am to 10.30am
Three Blue Ducks restaurant – Terrace in Ewingsdale
Sunday March 28 from 8.45am to 9.30am
Park Hotel Bottle Shop in Suffolk Park
Saturday March 27 from 7.30pm to 7.45pm
Suffolk Bakery in Suffolk Park
Saturday March 27 from 2.45pm to 3.15pm
Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park – women’s communal toilets in Suffolk Park
Friday March 26 between 4.00pm to 8.30pm
Saturday March 27 between 4.00pm to 8.30pm
Sunday March 28 between 4.00pm to 8.30pm
The infected case was notified after 8pm Tuesday and will be included in Thursday’s NSW figures.
He was informed on Monday he had attended a venue of concern, the Byron Beach Hotel last Friday night.
He immediately presented for testing and self-isolated.
The man remains in isolation while his household contacts and several friends who were at the hotel with him have tested negative.
A number of public health alerts were issued for venues in Byron Bay after an infected case from the Queensland cluster several businesses on Saturday March 27.
They include Boards in the Bay between 12.40pm-12.45pm, Byron Bay Central Pharmacy between 1.05pm-1.10pm, Main Street Burger Bar between 1.15pm-1.20pm Surf, Dive & Ski between 1.25pm-1.30pm and Ghanda on Lawson Street between 12pm-12.30pm.
Anyone who attended the listed venues at the same time must get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
Byron Bay locals are on high alert after a man aged in his 20s tested positive. Pictured are medical staff have their temperature checked outside the Byron Surf club in Byron Bay on Wednesday
Byron Bay is gearing up to host thousands of revellers for Bluesfest, which is currently scheduled to go ahead this weekend.
NSW Health is working with Bluesfest organisers regarding the event, which told festival goers on Wednesday afternoon it will provide an update ‘soon’.
Residents in the Byron, Tweed, Lismore and Ballina areas are strongly urged to not travel outside the region over the Easter break.
‘It is our strong preference – it will not be mandatory but it is our very strong preference – that if you live in any of those four local government areas, that you don’t travel outside those areas,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘We won’t be policing that but it is very strong advice … if there is community transmission, we don’t want it seeded to other parts of NSW.’
There were no plans to close the NSW-Queensland border, nor plans to tighten restrictions further, she told reporters.
Ms Berejiklian warned earlier this week that NSW should brace itself for new infections after a three-day lockdown was imposed on Greater Brisbane.
Cases have also been identified as visiting Gold Coast and Toowoomba.
She also urged people in NSW to cancel any Easter holidays to Queensland, warning them they could get trapped there if the Brisbane lockdown was extended.
Byron Bay remains on high alert after one new case was recorded in NSW. Pictured are queues at a testing clinic in Byron bay on Tuesday