Qld makes call to keep border open with NSW despite more cases

The border between Queensland and New South Wales will remain open despite the community spread in Sydney growing overnight.

The Sunshine State’s acting premier Steven Miles said the Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young would debrief with her New South Wales counterpart later on Thursday morning to dissect the latest contact tracing information.

Family and friends were concerned on Wednesday a new locally-acquired case would spoil Christmas plans and those anxieties escalated on Thursday as a separate and concerning cluster on Sydney’s Northern Beaches was revealed.

Mr Miles said the outbreak was in its infancy and advised Queenslanders planning on travelling to Sydney, the Northern Beaches specifically, to wait 24 hours for Dr Young to provide a more detailed response on restrictions.

But he said travel restrictions were unlikely to change given Queensland Health was confident in the steps taken by its NSW counterparts to contain the recent cluster.

“We’ll monitor that situation very, very closely,” Mr Miles told reporters.

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All eyes are on NSW as the virus cluster in Sydney grows. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

“Anyone currently in Queensland who might be planning Christmas travel to that region, we just urge you to take caution to consider waiting out that 24 hours to see whether this cluster gets any worse.

“Because over that period of time, the chief health officer will need to consider whether other steps need to be in place.”

Two new infections were announced late on Wednesday afternoon – a woman in her 60s and a man in his 70s – and another two were added to the outbreak by the morning.

Travellers relying on the Western Australia border remaining open are also eagerly awaiting a decision after its premier Mark McGowan issued a threat to slam the borders shut yet again if the case numbers grew in NSW.

He told reporters on Wednesday the state’s chief health officer Andy Robertson was watching the testing situation in Sydney “like a hawk”.

“The controlled border we have in place with all other states allows us to put up a hard border immediately if we need to,” Mr McGowan told reporters.

“If the advice comes back we need to put up a hard border, we will.”

Northern Beaches local residents scramble to get tested at Mona Vale Hospital. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

NSW health officials told those who visited the below venues in Palm Beach and Avalon are being considered close contacts and asked to isolate for 14 days even if they receive a negative coronavirus test.

Those site include:

Residents on the Northern Beaches have been told to get tested if they exhibit symptoms. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

Health authorities have also issued a warning for those who visited the following venues to get a test immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.

These include:

“Everyone living on the Northern Beaches area should monitor for even the mildest of symptoms and come forward for testing immediately if they appear, then isolate until a negative result is received,” NSW Health said on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Hazzard said the outbreak on the Northern Beaches warranted a serious reaction from residents in the area.

“I would say to everybody on the Northern Beaches it is sufficient to say four cases of apparent community transmission at this point would strongly suggest to any of the residents of the Northern Beaches that you should go and guest tested,” he told reporters on Thursday morning.

The scare on the Northern Beaches follows revelations on Wednesday morning a 45-year-old man had tested positive to the deadly virus.

The man, who drives vans carrying international aircrew to and from Sydney Airport, first started showing symptoms on Saturday.

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