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Genomic testing reveals six cases linked to UK COVID-19 variant

Health authorities are working to control the spread of the UK strain of COVID-19 in Queensland, after genomic testing linked six cases to the highly infectious variant of the virus.

All six cases with the UK strain have a connection to Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor Hotel.

“These are the UK traveller and his partner, the hotel cleaner and her partner, and the man and his daughter from Lebanon who we told you about yesterday,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Additional precautions have been put in place for those in hotel quarantine, but the Premier said there is no need for the public to be concerned.

All guests currently in quarantine at the Grand Chancellor Hotel are being moved to other hotels, while 250 people who were in the hotel previously and 226 people who worked in the hotel will be tested and quarantined.

It comes as two new cases were recorded overnight, both in hotel quarantine, taking the state’s total to 26 active cases.

Over the past 24 hours more than 20,615 tests have been conducted.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young urged people who have been to the following locations to get tested immediately, even if they are not showing symptoms:

  • Woolworths Calamvale North between 11am and 12pm on 3 January 2021
  • Coles Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town between 7.30am and 8am on 5 January 2021
  • Nextra Sunnybank Hills Newsagent between 8am and 8.15am on 5 January 2021
  • Bunnings Warehouse Acacia Ridge between 2pm and 2.40pm on 5 January 2021
  • Sunnybank Cellars on Hellawell Road in Sunnybank Hills between 2.05pm and 2.15pm on 6 January 2021
  • Hotel Grand Chancellor from 30 December 2020 onwards

Visit the Queensland Health website for a full list of contact tracing locations.

Restrictions at a glance

  • You must carry a mask at all times.
  • Masks must be worn in indoor places including shopping centres and supermarkets, gyms, places of worship, libraries, public transport, and taxis and rideshare vehicles.
  • Masks must be worn in workplaces if social distancing isn’t possible and it’s safe to do so.
  • You don’t need to wear a mask in private vehicles, while outdoors at a safe distance from other people or if you’re doing strenuous exercise.
  • Businesses and venues can have one person per 4 square metres indoors and one person per 2 square metres outdoors.
  • Smaller venues up to 200 square metres can have one person per 2 square metres up to a maximum of 50.
  • You must be seated to eat and drink, and no dancing is allowed except at weddings.
  • Gatherings are restricted to 20 people in homes and public spaces.
  • Weddings and funerals can have up to 100 people, and dancing is allowed at weddings without restrictions.
  • Indoor concert venues and theatres can operate at 50 per cent capacity or one person per four square metres, whichever is greater.
  • Outdoor stadiums can operate at 50 per cent capacity with COVID-safe plans.
  • Restrictions on visits to hospitals, aged care, disability accommodation and prisons will remain.

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