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Brisbane enters three-day lockdown over new UK variant infection

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the lockdown after informing on Twitter that a cleaner working at a Brisbane quarantine hotel had tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19.
 || Rhythima Agrawal

Australia’s third-largest city of Brisbane will enter a three-day lockdown from Friday afternoon after a local resident tested positive for the mutant strain of COVID-19.

According to the Health Department of the state of Queensland where Brisbane locates, the Greater Brisbane area will enter lockdown from 6:00 pm Friday to 6:00 pm (local time) next Monday. Local residents can only leave home for essential purposes including buying essentials like groceries or medication, working or studying if not able to do so from home, exercising and healthcare, or providing care.

“We are doing this to keep Queenslanders safe. We know this strain is highly infectious, 70 percent more infectious. We are going to go hard and early, do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told a press conference. The tough restrictions came after a young cleaner working in Brisbane’s quarantine hotel had tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19. She is also the first locally acquired case of the highly infectious COVID-19 strain.

The supermarkets and essential businesses would remain open during the lockdown. The Queensland Health officials have urged residents to avoid panic buying.

The state of New South Wales where Sydney is located has recorded four new locally acquired cases and seven returned travelers. Three of the local cases were related to two clusters in Sydney, and one was under investigation for an infection source. The state of Victoria recorded no local cases on Friday, but one in hotel Quarantine.

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