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Annastacia Palaszczuk has demanded a cut to the number of people entering Australia as Queensland becomes the fourth state to go into lockdown.

The premier said hotel quarantine is risky because staff get infected and spread the virus around the community, with 26 outbreaks from the quarantine system throughout the nation so far. 

‘We need a massive reduction in overseas arrivals because the overseas arrivals are bringing in these contagious strains,’ she said on Tuesday morning as she locked down south-east Queensland, Townsville city, Palm Island and Magnetic Island for three days over four Covid-19 cases.

A resident wears a mask at Southbank in Brisbane as the city faces three days of lockdown

A resident wears a mask at Southbank in Brisbane as the city faces three days of lockdown

A resident wears a mask at Southbank in Brisbane as the city faces three days of lockdown

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has demanded a cut to the number of people entering Australia as Queensland becomes the fourth state to go into lockdown

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has demanded a cut to the number of people entering Australia as Queensland becomes the fourth state to go into lockdown

Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has demanded a cut to the number of people entering Australia as Queensland becomes the fourth state to go into lockdown

‘We need to get on top of this. We have seen what is happening in Sydney, in WA, in the NT and I am just urging the Prime Minister, reduce the caps. 

‘We are having lock downs in major cities because the overseas arrivals are bringing the virus here. 

‘They are going into hotels and all of our staff are having to deal with it. There are so many staff involved. The risk is real and we need to contain the virus. We need to protect Australia. We need to protect Queensland.’ 

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the Queensland government believes hotel quarantine should be scrapped altogether and only the Howard Springs camp near Darwin should be used to return travellers.

‘The nation only has one dedicated quarantine facility at the moment, that being Howard Springs and it is our view that that should be where international travellers return to until there are additional facilities,’ he said. 

Hotel quarantine is considered more risky than camp quarantine because travellers are kept in close-together rooms with no fresh air. 

Mr Miles revealed 190 people were flying into Brisbane from overseas on Tuesday and said the federal government was giving too many exemptions to the border ban, allowing Aussies to leave and come back.

‘Our international borders are supposed to be closed right now and yet somehow the number of people waiting to come to Australia from around the world hasn’t really gone down since Christmas, despite thousands of arrivals each and every week and I think the Federal Government needs to be stricter with the exemptions they’re providing to people to come here,’ he said. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has written to the premiers of WA and Queensland to offer to build new quarantine facilities, after agreeing to construct one in Victoria.  

A worker cleans while wearing a mask at a restaurant at Southbank, on June 29 in Brisbane, Australia

A worker cleans while wearing a mask at a restaurant at Southbank, on June 29 in Brisbane, Australia

A worker cleans while wearing a mask at a restaurant at Southbank, on June 29 in Brisbane, Australia

Queensland’s lockdown was sparked by a 19-year-old casual clerical worker from the Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital who worked as a receptionist outside a Covid-19 ward. 

She travelled between her home in Sandgate to Magnetic Island in Townsville at the end of last week and attended the Sunday markets in Townsville. 

The woman tested positive on Monday. 

‘Despite the health directives that she should have been vaccinated, she was not,’ Premier Palaszczuk said. ‘Let me say, I am absolutely furious about this.’ 

New restrictions have come into effect across parts of Queensland as of 1am this morning

New restrictions have come into effect across parts of Queensland as of 1am this morning

New restrictions have come into effect across parts of Queensland as of 1am this morning

Source: Daily Mail

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