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Greater Brisbane will enter a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread of the UK strain of coronavirus after a positive case was detected yesterday.

The areas included in the closure are Metro North, Metro South and West Moreton.

Starting at 6pm tonight, Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands will be under the same restrictions introduced in March.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a three-day lockdown for Greater Brisbane. (Nine)

“Think of it as a long weekend at home. We need to do this,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“If we don’t do this now, it could end up being a 30-day lockdown.”

Queensland has reported nine new COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine.

More than 13,000 people were tested for the virus overnight, yet Palaszscuk urged more people to come forward.

“I want to thank the people who have come in the thousands to get tested, but we want more testing done, we want to see higher test rates, especially in the areas we described yesterday,” he said.

People show up for testing in Brisbane after a positive case of the UK strain of the virus was detected yesterday. January 8, 2021. (9News)

People in the designated lockdown areas will only be allowed to leave their home for essential reasons including providing or receiving medical care or support for a vulnerable person, essential shopping within their local area, and exercise in their local neighborhood.

Also, people should wear a mask when outside their homes.

It is the first time a mask mandate has been applied in Queensland since the start of the pandemic.

“I know this will be difficult for companies in the next few days, but I am also thinking about their long-term futures. So it is incredibly important that we take these strong measures,” said Ms. Palaszczuk.

Palaszczuk said the government has declared Brisbane and Greater Brisbane a COVID-19 hotspot.

“It is incredibly important at this time to stop the spread of this infectious strain from the UK, we must act immediately, we must act decisively and we have taken those strong action today,” he said.

Patients arrive by ambulances at the Royal London Hospital on January 5. The UK is struggling to contain an outbreak of a new, more virulent strain of COVID-19 and hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. (Getty)

The state’s health director, Dr Jeanette Young, said Queenslanders “cannot relax” until all cases of the UK virus are found.

“We need to act very, very quickly. We need to find each case now. We need to find all the people who might have had contact with that lady now – find them and quarantine them. That’s what we have to do for the next three days.” said Dr. Young.

“I am absolutely confident that we will.”

For the next three days, funerals will be limited to 20 people, weddings to 10 people, and people have been asked to limit any non-essential movement.

“We ask people not to go to non-essential businesses like hair salons, nail salons, etc., cinemas, gyms; all those sports activities on the weekend, organized community sports, all of that is on hold,” said the Dr. Young.

“We need to pause for the next three days and see what this case means.”


www.9news.com.au

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