Queensland hits triple-figure Covid cases for first time

Queensland has reported a record number of daily Covid-19 cases with 186 new infections confirmed.

The state recorded 186 new cases on Wednesday, the first time Queensland has recorded triple figures throughout the pandemic, which is 100 more than the total of 86 on Tuesday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said workers and patrons at theatres and cinemas will be required to wear masks from 5am on Thursday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during a press conference in Brisbane, Australia.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has tightened some rules after the state recorded 186 new Covid infections. Source: Getty Images

In hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants, masks will only need to be worn by workers.

Masks are already mandated in supermarkets and shops as well as public transport and rideshares.

"This isn't very onerous and we have spoken to the industry and the unions and they understand why this is necessary," the premier said.

"We don't want to have all our cafes and restaurants going down because of the Omicron variant. It's very practical [and] sensible."

The premier addressed the media ahead of a National Cabinet meeting due later on Wednesday. Earlier, NSW also broke its daily record for new Covid-19 cases with 3,763 new infections recorded.

Ms Palaszczuk said she has spoken with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet about the 72-hour PCR test requirement for interstate visitors to Queensland. There are concerns people are facing lengthy queues, being turned away or not getting their Covid test results in time for entry into the Sunshine State.

Rebecca Underhill hugs her father Paul Gimpel after she arrived from Sydney to be reunited with family at Brisbane Domestic Airport, Brisbane.
Rebecca Underhill hugs her father Paul Gimpel after she arrived in Brisbane from Sydney last week. Source: AAP

But Ms Palaszczuk said for now the rule is here to stay.

"We are happy to get some further advice from AHPPC about rapid antigen tests," the premier said.

"We will look at whether this is approved that we may be to legalise them in the New Year from January 1."

She said from now through to 2022 Queensland will require visitors follow the current PCR testing rules.

"It was part of our plan and we want to keep the virus out as much as we possibly can over the Christmas and New Year," she said.

Queensland Police commissioner Katarina Carroll told Channel Nine's Today Show on Wednesday it's "becoming a big issue for people coming into the state" with a lot of people being turned away.

"Further discussions will be had today about this issue," she said.

Coronavirus 'spreading rapidly' in Queensland

As daily cases top triple figures for the first time in Queensland, Chief Health Officer John Gerrard has warned the numbers will continue to rise.

"This is a substantial increase from yesterday and not surprising because we have a very contagious virus in Omicron which has become the dominant virus here in Queensland," Dr Gerrard said.

"This virus is spreading rapidly through the community. We know that it's happening around the world so we're certainly not unique."

with AAP

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