Coronavirus: Queensland declares NSW and ACT virus hotspots

Queensland has declared NSW and ACT coronavirus hotspots and will close the border to both places from this weekend.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the closures at a press conference on Wednesday morning and said they will take immediate effect from 1am on Saturday, August 8.

The announcement comes as Victoria is expected to announce another record number of new coronavirus cases. NSW announced on Wednesday another 12 new cases with 10 of those from known Sydney clusters.

Ms Palaszczuk said the hard border lockdown was brought in due to people deliberately flouting the law to avoid quarantine.

"There are people dying. This is a life-and-death situation here," Ms Palaszczuk said on Wednesday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that she will close the state's borders to NSW and the ACT. Source: AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that she will close the state's borders to NSW and the ACT. Source: AAP

“This is the right thing to do. I know it's going to be tough on Queenslanders. But your health comes first.

“We need to protect not only our health, we need to protect the families, we need to protect our economy.

“We've seen what's happened in Victoria. We don't want to see that happening here.”

NSW man entered Queensland through ACT

Health Minister Stephen Miles said the lockdown had to include the ACT because there had been cases of people avoiding quarantine by flying in from Canberra.

A man is accused of driving from Sydney to the ACT then catching a flight to Cairns to dodge mandatory quarantine restrictions.

A man walks through a shopping centre wearing a face mask. Source: AAP
Queensland has closed its borders to NSW and ACT as the coronavirus crisis continues. Source: AAP

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the man allegedly told police he was "frustrated" with the restrictions and wanted to go to work.

He is undergoing mandatory quarantine.

Queensland recorded one new case overnight after an 86-year-old Ipswich woman tested positive.

‘Very concerning situation’ in NSW and Victoria

Ms Palaszczuk said the decision was made because we are still seeing a “large number of active cases in Victoria” and “continuing to see cases in NSW”.

“We have seen that Victoria is not getting better, and we're not going to wait for NSW to get worse. We need to act.

“And we have taken the decisive decision to act. I said I will not hesitate, and today is the day.

“We cannot risk a second wave,” she said.

“We have to act decisively and today we have acted quickly.”

Earlier this week Tasmania changed its mind on opening the border to people from South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory on August 7. Now the border will remain closed to other states and territories to at least August 31, Premier Peter Gutwein said on Monday.

Meanwhile, three men caught trying to dodge quarantine after travelling from Melbourne have tested negative.

The men, aged 23, 25 and 29, failed to declare they had been to the hotspot when they crossed into the state at Coolangatta after allegedly spending several weeks in Melbourne.

All three have been issued with court notices and investigations are ongoing.

with AAP

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