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The waiting game lingers on for millions of anxious Queenslanders whose Easter holiday plans will remain in limbo.

Residents in the Greater Brisbane and surrounding areas will find out Thursday whether a three day lockdown will be lifted later that day at 5pm, as Queensland battles to control a growing coronavirus outbreak that has crossed the border into New South Wales.

Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk has so far refused to rule out extending or expanding the lockdown into the Easter long weekend, which will depend on two crucial factors.

Queensland recorded more new locally-acquired cases on Wednesday as NSW recorded first community-transmitted case in two weeks, linked to the Brisbane cluster sparked by an infected  Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse who unknowingly spread the virus at a hen’s party in Byron Bay.

Ms Palasczcuk described Wednesday’s figures as encouraging after 10 community cases were reported 24 hours earlier on Tuesday.

The Premier’s decision to lift lockdown on Thursday morning will depend on testing numbers and making sure there have been no unlinked community transfers.

Brisbane residents will find out Thursday morning whether lockdown will be extended

Brisbane residents will find out Thursday morning whether lockdown will be extended

Brisbane residents will find out Thursday morning whether lockdown will be extended

The Queensland Premier's decision will depend on testing numbers. Pictured is testing south of the border in Byron Bay on Wednesday

The Queensland Premier's decision will depend on testing numbers. Pictured is testing south of the border in Byron Bay on Wednesday

The Queensland Premier’s decision will depend on testing numbers. Pictured is testing south of the border in Byron Bay on Wednesday

‘This is very encouraging and we’ll be providing you with an update again tomorrow at 9am, and fingered crossed, all will be looking good for Easter,’ Ms Palasczcuk said.

‘If we see very good testing rates across Queensland and we don’t see any unlinked community transmission, the signs for Easter are looking positive.’ 

In the past 24 hours, 33,408 tests were conducted across Queensland.

‘That is a massive, massive number – I think that’s probably our highest,’ Ms Palasczcuk said.

 ‘And I do want to thank Queenslanders for coming out and doing that.’

‘If we see the same number of test results tomorrow, this is very, very encouraging news.’

Making sure there are no  unlinked community transmission will also play a big role in the Premier’s decision.

Travellers are urged to wait until Thursday morning before changing their plans.

‘I think they should wait until 9am tomorrow, we’re having three briefings a day, this is a very serious situation that we’re in,’ Ms Palasczcuk said.

‘I’m sorry I can’t help people who have flights coming in on Thursday, you would have seen that we declared greater Brisbane a hotspot.

‘The Commonwealth has declared greater Brisbane a hotspot and other states and territories have done the same.’

Of the three new cases were recorded in Queensland overnight – two were locally acquired while the other came from hotel quarantine.

The local cases are linked to a Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse who visited Byron Bay in northern New South Wales on the weekend of March 26-28 with her sister – with 11 infections now connected to that cluster.

A second cluster linked to a separate Princess Alexandra patient who had recently returned from Europe sits at eight cases. 

The new NSW case is connected to a hen's party in Byron Bay last weekend. Pictured are motorists being tested in the popular holiday hotspot

The new NSW case is connected to a hen's party in Byron Bay last weekend. Pictured are motorists being tested in the popular holiday hotspot

The new NSW case is connected to a hen’s party in Byron Bay last weekend. Pictured are motorists being tested in the popular holiday hotspot

Bluesfest in Byron Bay (pictured Wednesday) has been cancelled after NSW recorded a new case

Bluesfest in Byron Bay (pictured Wednesday) has been cancelled after NSW recorded a new case

Bluesfest in Byron Bay (pictured Wednesday) has been cancelled after NSW recorded a new case

Pedestrians pictured walking through the Brisbane CBD on Tuesday as the city endures a three-day lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk has refused to say whether Brisbane will be released from lockdown on Thursday

Pedestrians pictured walking through the Brisbane CBD on Tuesday as the city endures a three-day lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk has refused to say whether Brisbane will be released from lockdown on Thursday

Pedestrians pictured walking through the Brisbane CBD on Tuesday as the city endures a three-day lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk has refused to say whether Brisbane will be released from lockdown on Thursday

Strict coronavirus restrictions will be enforced on Easter celebrations in Byron Bay after New South Wales recorded its first locally-acquired case in two weeks.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian 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.

The new case has also forced the 11th hour cancellation of the much loved Bluesfest, which was scheduled to attract thousands of music lovers over Easter.  

Ms Palaszczuk pictured as she gave Queensland's coronavirus update on Wednesday. She said a decision on whether to extend Brisbane's lockdown would be made on Thursday morning

Ms Palaszczuk pictured as she gave Queensland's coronavirus update on Wednesday. She said a decision on whether to extend Brisbane's lockdown would be made on Thursday morning

Ms Palaszczuk pictured as she gave Queensland’s coronavirus update on Wednesday. She said a decision on whether to extend Brisbane’s lockdown would be made on Thursday morning

Health officials said the newly-identified infected nurse had been vaccinated on March 19 but did not have full immunity yet – which takes up to two weeks to kick in after the first jab. 

‘It’s household transmission, and we know that household transmission is our highest risk at the start of any outbreak,’ Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said.

‘I don’t have a genome sequence yet for the second person. This is someone who lives in the same household as the second nurse… I’m sure it will be the same.’ 

She said it would have taken the nurse – who received her first dose on March 19 – about a week to build a significant level of immunity.

The announcement came amid fears more than 2.5 million Brisbane residents are almost certain to remain in lockdown through the Easter long weekend.

Greater Brisbane residents were ordered into a snap 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

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 had said an extended lockdown past Thursday would be ‘almost certain’ if there is an increase of cases. 

‘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.’

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan echoed Dr Griffin’s predictions and said the Palaszczuk Government would ‘wait until the last minute’ on to assess case numbers.      

A health care worker is pictured at a drive through COVID-19 test clinic at the Cavanbah Centre on Tuesday in Byron Bay

A health care worker is pictured at a drive through COVID-19 test clinic at the Cavanbah Centre on Tuesday in Byron Bay

A health care worker is pictured at a drive through COVID-19 test clinic at the Cavanbah Centre on Tuesday in Byron Bay

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan said the Palaszczuk Government will 'wait until the last minute' 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' 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’ 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

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.

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 on Tuesday 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.

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

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

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

‘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.

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’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 Covid-19 case dined at the popular cafe

The Farm at Byron Bay (pictured) was closed after a positive Covid-19 case dined at the popular cafe

The Farm at Byron Bay (pictured) was closed after a positive Covid-19 case dined at the popular cafe

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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