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More than 2.5 million Brisbane residents are almost certain to remain in lockdown through the Easter long weekend, as a Covid outbreak threatens to spread throughout NSW after Byron Bay was visited by infected Queenslanders. 

Greater Brisbane residents were ordered into a snap three-day lockdown on Monday afternoon, while hundreds more around the state who have visited the city since March 20 remain under orders to stay at home and self-isolate.

Infectious disease physician Associate Professor Paul Griffin said an extended lockdown past Thursday would be ‘almost certain’ if there is an increase of cases again on Wednesday. There are currently 15 cases linked to the Brisbane cluster.

‘We should hope to start seeing some benefit from the lockdown in the next 24 to 48 hours,’ he told the Courier Mail. ‘It’s very clear that this is a very significant event.’

Greater Brisbane residents were ordered into a snap three-day lockdown on Monday afternoon, while hundreds more around the state who have visited the city since March 20 remain under orders to stay at home and self-isolate

Greater Brisbane residents were ordered into a snap three-day lockdown on Monday afternoon, while hundreds more around the state who have visited the city since March 20 remain under orders to stay at home and self-isolate

Greater Brisbane residents were ordered into a snap three-day lockdown on Monday afternoon, while hundreds more around the state who have visited the city since March 20 remain under orders to stay at home and self-isolate

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan said the Palaszczuk Government will 'wait until the last minute' on Wednesday to assess case numbers. Pictured: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan said the Palaszczuk Government will 'wait until the last minute' on Wednesday to assess case numbers. Pictured: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan said the Palaszczuk Government will ‘wait until the last minute’ on Wednesday to assess case numbers. Pictured: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

A line-up is pictured at a walk-through Covid-19 testing site at the Surf Life Saving Club in Byron Bay in northern New South Wales on Monday. A Covid-positive unvaccinated nurse and her sister visited the town on the weekend of March 26-March 28

A line-up is pictured at a walk-through Covid-19 testing site at the Surf Life Saving Club in Byron Bay in northern New South Wales on Monday. A Covid-positive unvaccinated nurse and her sister visited the town on the weekend of March 26-March 28

A line-up is pictured at a walk-through Covid-19 testing site at the Surf Life Saving Club in Byron Bay in northern New South Wales on Monday. A Covid-positive unvaccinated nurse and her sister visited the town on the weekend of March 26-March 28

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan echoed Dr Griffin’s predictions, saying the Palaszczuk Government will ‘wait until the last minute’ on Wednesday to assess case numbers.    

‘My gut feeling is if we get similar numbers (on Wednesday) as we have today, then we will go for another couple of days. If I was to give odds, I would say yes, it will be extended,’ he said. 

Another eight locally transmitted virus vases were announced on Tuesday, as the premier confirmed two distinct clusters were spreading in Queensland. 

The first cluster is linked to a Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor who tested positive on March 12, which sent the hospital into lockdown on Tuesday evening.

The cases linked to the doctor include two men in northern Brisbane, the brother of one of the men, and two colleagues of the other.

Genomic testing is underway to confirm another two cases are linked to that cluster. The second cluster is linked to a PA Hospital nurse and her sister.

The shock lockdown came on Monday after four new local coronavirus cases – including two siblings – were discovered by authorities.

The siblings – an unvaccinated nurse and her sister – unknowingly had the virulent UK coronavirus strain while partying in Byron Bay, northern NSW, between March 26 and March 28.

The sisters visited a string of popular venues including the Byron Beach Hotel and The Farm – both of which are now on high alert for potential Covid-19 exposure.

Brisbane residents queue to be processed through a drive-in Covid-19 testing site at Bowen Hills in Brisbane on Monday

Brisbane residents queue to be processed through a drive-in Covid-19 testing site at Bowen Hills in Brisbane on Monday

Brisbane residents queue to be processed through a drive-in Covid-19 testing site at Bowen Hills in Brisbane on Monday

The nurse and her sister partied in NSW's Byron Bay (testing site pictured) for a bachelorette party while infected with Covid

The nurse and her sister partied in NSW's Byron Bay (testing site pictured) for a bachelorette party while infected with Covid

The nurse and her sister partied in NSW’s Byron Bay (testing site pictured) for a bachelorette party while infected with Covid

A close contact, and another five people who went to a hens’ party with the pair in Byron Bay, tested positive in Brisbane and the Gold Coast on Monday night.  

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned NSW residents to brace for the virus to spread across the border.

‘We hope that we do not have any cases arise in NSW but I would not be surprised if we did, so we must brace ourselves,’ she said on Tuesday. 

Byron Bay is due to host the five-day Bluesfest starting Thursday and running across the Easter long weekend with up to 16,000 participants every day.

‘We are expecting more cases [linked to] Queensland and hopefully most of those cases will be people in isolation or although we have to assume this is an evolving situation,’ Ms Berejiklian said. 

Ms Berejiklian’s borders are still open but she said Queensland ‘will have to respond’ if cases are identified in her state.

The premier urged people in NSW to ‘please change your plans’ if they intended to travel to anywhere in Queensland for the Easter break, warning there was a chance they could end up trapped in a lockdown.

Queensland’s Covid strategy is blasted by top doctor as Annastacia Palaszczuk is accused of ‘stockpiling vaccines’ 

Queensland’s vaccination and Covid mitigation strategy has come under fire after thousands of frontline healthcare workers weren’t vaccinated despite the state having a stockpile of vaccines.   

Two separate clusters have been linked to a doctor and nurse at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Australian Medical Association president Omar Korshid blasted the Queensland Government for not vaccinating healthcare staff before allowing them to work with Covid patients.

‘It’s very frustrating if they’re holding back doses which could have been given,’ he told The Australian.

Despite Queensland receiving 106,000 vaccine doses from the Federal Government, the state has only issued about 65,000 jabs. 

Queensland's vaccination strategy has come under fire after thousands of frontline healthcare workers weren't vaccinated despite the state having a stockpile of vaccines

Queensland's vaccination strategy has come under fire after thousands of frontline healthcare workers weren't vaccinated despite the state having a stockpile of vaccines

Queensland’s vaccination strategy has come under fire after thousands of frontline healthcare workers weren’t vaccinated despite the state having a stockpile of vaccines

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the vaccine mandate could not have happened sooner because of the number of staff needed to respond to a rapid escalation in caseload.

‘We didn’t have enough vaccine, we had to roll the vaccine out,’ she said on Tuesday.

‘It’s just so unfortunate that this outbreak has occurred when it did. Another month and all of these staff would absolutely have been protected.’ 

The state opposition supports the mandate but said it should have happened sooner, criticising the vaccine rollout as sluggish.

‘As a nurse the last thing that I would be doing is putting my staff at risk and we need to make sure that they’re all vaccinated. It’s a sensible decision, it should have happened earlier,’ shadow health minister Ros Bates said.

‘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.’

Despite Queensland receiving 106,000 vaccine doses from the Federal Government, the state has only issued about 65,000 jabs

Despite Queensland receiving 106,000 vaccine doses from the Federal Government, the state has only issued about 65,000 jabs

Despite Queensland receiving 106,000 vaccine doses from the Federal Government, the state has only issued about 65,000 jabs

More than 41,000 frontline healthcare and hotel quarantine workers have received their first vaccine dose, representing 89 per cent of the workforce, Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.

‘We expect that to be completed over the next 48 hours,’ she said.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath initially said the amount of vaccines the state was supplied by the commonwealth did not all arrive on the first day.

‘It has progressively increased, just as our vaccinations have progressively increased. We had to wait for consistency of supply,’ she said. 

‘We also had to keep some in reserve for the second vaccination because we can’t be sure, and the commonwealth can’t be sure, when the vaccine will arrive in Australia and when it will be ­distributed to the states. This is something that every jurisdiction is doing, we have to do it.’

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The Farm at Byron Bay (pictured) was closed after a positive case dined at the popular cafe

The Farm at Byron Bay (pictured) was closed after a positive case dined at the popular cafe

The Farm at Byron Bay (pictured) was closed after a positive case dined at the popular cafe

A healthcare worker is seen organising Covid-19 test collections in Brisbane on Monday

A healthcare worker is seen organising Covid-19 test collections in Brisbane on Monday

A healthcare worker is seen organising Covid-19 test collections in Brisbane on Monday

The dire outlook comes just hours after the hospital at the centre of an outbreak in Brisbane was placed into lockdown for the second time in a month, as authorities scramble to stamp out two clusters.

Queensland Health on Tuesday evening confirmed the state’s second biggest hospital, the Princess Alexandra, has been placed into lockdown as a precaution.

There are now more than 60 potential virus exposure sites across Greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Hervey Bay and Gin Gin.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has left open the door to expand the lockdown to other regions.

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

Full list of Queensland and Byron Bay Covid exposure sites  

With a new outbreak reaching 15 cases on Tuesday, Queensland health authorities have released a list of sites where there may have been a risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Visitors to the following venues at the specified times must isolate for 14 days and complete a contact tracing self-assessment online. 

Saturday, March 20

* Shinobi Ramen Noodle shop, Westfield Shopping Centre, Carindale, 12pm – 2.16pm

* Black Hops Brewery, East Brisbane, 12pm – 2pm

* Green Beacon brewing Co, Teneriffe, 2pm – 3.12pm

* Eatons Hill Hotel, Eatons Hill, 3.44pm – 5.30pm

Sunday, March 21

* Mamma’s Italian Restaurant, Redcliffe, 12.30pm – 3.10pm

Monday, March 22

* PCYC Pine Rivers, Bray Park, 7.16am – 8.10am

Friday, March 26

* FitStop Gym, Morningside, 6.50am – 8am

* Spinnaker Park Cafe, Callemondah, 10.22am – 11.23am

* Niche & Co Cafe, Tugun 1.40pm – 1.45pm

* Chempro Chemist, Tugun, 1.55pm – 2.10pm

* Auckland House, Gladstone Central, 7.23pm – 9.30pm

Saturday, March 27

* Auckland House, Gladstone Central, 7.33am – 8.20am

* Savour Cafe Merthyr Village, New Farm, 10.30am – 12.10pm

Visitors to the following venues should get tested immediately and quarantine until they get a negative result:

Friday, March 19

* Little Red Dumpling, Carseldine, 12.10pm – 1.16pm

* Woolworths, Carseldine, 1.10pm – 1.20pm

* Aldi, Bald Hills, 5.10pm – 5.18pm

* Super Cheap Auto, Bald Hills, 5.30pm – 5.33pm

Saturday, March 20

* Westfield Carindale Shopping Centre – any part of the shopping centre, Carindale, 12pm – 2.16pm

* Black Hops Brewery, East Brisbane, 2pm – 3pm

* Market Organics (store only), Newmarket, 2.45 – 3pm

* Baskins-Robbins, Everton Park, 9.20pm – 9.25pm

Sunday, March 21

* The Standard Market Company, Gasworks Plaza, Newstead, 9.50am – 10.20am

* Genki Mart, Alderley, 10.30am – 10.46am

* Liquorland, Dolphins Central Shopping Centre, Kippa-Ring, 4.40pm – 5.50pm

Monday, March 22

* Bunnings Rothwell, 7.14am – 7.27am

* Cafe Lavenue, Carseldine, 8.51am – 8.58am

* Zambrero, Aspley, 12.05pm – 12.34pm

* Jacobs Bakery, Aspley, 12.4pm – 12.48pm

* Bunnings Stafford, 12.4pm – 12.50pm

* Bunnings Lawnton, 3.15pm – 3.30pm

* Strathpine Plaza Shopping Centre, Strathpine, 3.43pm – 3.49pm

Tuesday, March 23

* Redcliffe Train Line – Kippa Ring to Lawnton, 7am – 8am

* Cafe Lavenue, Carseldine, 8am – 8.29am

* Sushi Train, Carseldine, 12pm – 12.45pm

* Zambrero, Lawnton, 12.51pm – 12.55pm

* Lawnton Fruit Market, Lawnton, 1.57pm – 2.05pm

* Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa Ring, 2pm – 3pm

* Nellas Gourmet Tucker, Lawnton, 3.37pm – 3.47pm

* Poolwerx Strathpine, Strathpine, 3.15pm – 3.27pm

* Dan Murphy’s, Strathpine, 7.26pm – 7.36pm

Wednesday, March 24

* Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa Ring, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

* Lawnton Country Markets, Lawnton, 2.36pm – 2.43pm

Thursday, March 25

* Cafe Lavenue, Carseldine, 8am – 8.29am

* Gin Gin Bakery, Gin Gin, 1.26pm – 1.33pm

* Aldi Stafford, Stafford City Shopping Centre, Stafford, 8.30am – 8.45am

* Cafe Lavenue, Carseldine, 12.34pm – 1.34pm

* Nundah Respiratory Clinic, Nundah, 11.15am – 11.40am

* Cold Rock Ice Creamery, Raby Bay, 3.50pm – 4pm

* Woolworths, Cleveland, 4.30pm – 4.45pm

* Miriam Vale Star Roadhouse and Caravan Park, Miriam Vale – 2.35pm – 2.45pm

* Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa Ring, 5.45pm – 6.45pm

* BWS – Lawnton Drive, Lawnton, 6.15pm – 6.30pm

* Hanwoori Korean BBQ Restaurant, Brisbane City, 6.30pm – 7.30pm

* Wintergarden carpark, Brisbane City, 6.19pm – 7.50pm

* Ceres Pizza Cafe, Strathpine, 7pm – 7.58pm

Friday, March 26

* FitStop Gym, Morningside, 6.50am – 8am

* Nurse Station Cafe, South Brisbane, 10.15am-10.30am

* Spinnaker Park Cafe, Callemodah, 10.22am -11.23am

* SPAR Carina Megafresh, Carina, 11.30am – 11.45am

* Coles, Stockland Gladstone, Gladstone Central, 12.09pm – 12.33pm

* Woolworths, Coorparoo, 12.55pm – 1.30pm

* Chempro Chemist (staff only), Tugun, 1.55pm – 2.10pm

* Redcliffe Train Line – Lawnton to Kippa Ring, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

* Woolworths, Peninsula Fair Shopping Centre, Kippa-Ring, 3pm – 3.20pm

* Stockland Gladstone (including BWS), Gladstone, 4.46pm – 5pm

* Byron Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, 7.15pm – 8.30pm

* Auckland House, Gladstone Central, 7.23pm – 9pm

Saturday, March 27

* Auckland House, Gladstone Central, 7.33am – 8.20am

* Savour Cafe Merthyr Village, New Farm, 10.30am – 12.10pm

* IGA Redcliffe, 12.50pm – 12:55pm

Sunday, March 28

* The Farm Byron Bay, Ewingsdale, 8am – 9.30am

Monday, March 29

* All of Greater Brisbane’s local government areas have been declared a hotspot. This includes: Brisbane council areas, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands and Moreton.

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Source: DailyMail AU

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