Queensland defends rapid SA border closure

Nick Gibbs
·2-min read

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath believes the state was singled out for criticism by federal government MPs and has defended border measures in response to Adelaide's COVID-19 cluster.

Queensland recorded three new cases overnight, all acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine.

Ms D'Ath said acting quickly on quarantine requirements for people arriving from Adelaide was the right decision.

On Monday, Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young ordered all travellers arriving from the South Australian capital into mandatory hotel quarantine from 11.59pm that night.

South Australia has since implemented strict lockdown measures designed to avoid a potential second wave.

Ms D'Ath said she was disappointed with criticism from federal MPs including Health Minister Greg Hunt.

"My question to all of them is whether they still stand by those comments they made in the last 48 hours now that South Australia has made the decision that they have," she said.

Speaking to the media on Thursday morning, Ms D'Ath confirmed workers at hotel quarantine sites will be tested on a weekly basis from next week to strengthen the state's system.

She said the testing regime would concentrate on workers who have direct contact with guests, such as police and healthcare workers.

The state government will communicate with the hotel industry over the need to systematically test other workers at the quarantine sites.

Ms D'Ath said she believed Queensland had one of the strongest hotel quarantine systems in the country and confirmed people who tested positive to COVID-19 were moved to hospitals as a matter of practice.

Dr Young said security was provided by Queensland Police who only worked at one site in "the vast majority of cases".

She reinforced the need for people with symptoms to get tested immediately, and said results were generally delivered in 24 hours meaning only one day of isolation was needed in most cases.