Residents of the border town of Moree will not be able to enter Queensland from Friday after the state recorded three new cases of COVID-19.
All three were in Goondiwindi, and two other people were found to be contagious while in the southern border town.
Two of the new cases recently visited Moree in northern NSW and the third is linked to one of them.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said Moree would be declared a restricted border area from 12:01 am Friday after 33 cases in the region.
“This means that residents of Moree will no longer have access to the Queensland border under the border bubble, except in exceptional circumstances, including essential health care,” Ms Palaszczuk said in a statement.
“There will also be a change in border directions so that unvaccinated people in the NSW border area cannot travel to Queensland to places and services that are only available to those who are not. people vaccinated in New South Wales. “
Palaszczuk says the three Queensland cases emerged after 5,098 tests within 24 hours at 6.30am Thursday.
One is a known family contact of a case, another has been contagious in the community for five days and a third for four days.
All are women, in their teens to their thirties. Two are not vaccinated and one has received her first dose.
“My message is very clear… if you are not vaccinated and the virus enters your community, the virus will stalk you,” Palaszczuk told reporters.
“Now it is really important in Goondiwindi if anyone is showing symptoms to please get tested.”
Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said all three cases were in hospital and would be transferred to a COVID-19 facility, most likely on the Gold Coast.
He said a number of households and other close contacts were isolated or traced on Thursday.
Dr Aitken said a woman from NSW and a Victorian truck driver also tested positive between states after being contagious in Goondiwindi.
Exhibition venues include a Kmart and supermarket in Goondiwindi on Mondays and the Brisbane Airport Domestic Terminal on Sunday afternoons.
Restrictions are unlikely to change given the city’s high vaccination rates, Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
Commonwealth figures show that as of Monday, 90.9% of eligible residents of Goondiwindi have had a vaccine and 81.5% are fully vaccinated.
But the high rates are not replicating statewide, and some regional communities and vulnerable populations in Queensland are concerned, with more cases expected as borders open.
The borders could open earlier than the Dec. 17 deadline if the statewide vaccination rate increases faster than expected.
For indigenous communities in Queensland, Ms Palaszczuk said part of the problem was the spread of “disinformation”.
“I urge all of our Indigenous Australians to ignore the false information that has been circulating on Facebook and get vaccinated,” she said.
As of November 1, 2021, only 38.9% of First Nations people aged 16 and over were fully vaccinated in Queensland, and 52% had received at least one dose.
Residents of areas with low immunization rates will receive an SMS alert encouraging them to receive the vaccine starting Thursday.
Health alerts include a link to a government website with information on how to get vaccinated.
It’s the same warning system used in disasters, and authorities are asking Queenslanders not to block the number.
Overall, in Queensland, 65.81% of eligible residents are fully immunized and 78.81% have received a dose.
Associated Australian Press