Qld aged care homes to reopen to visitors

Dr Jeannette Young says all but one QLD aged care homes can now be safely reopened for visitors.
Dr Jeannette Young says all but one QLD aged care homes can now be safely reopened for visitors.

Queensland's aged care homes can now reopen to visitors, with authorities confident two infected teens who dodged quarantine did not spread coronavirus.

Health authorities had been on high alert for an outbreak linked to the women who spent a week moving around the community after returning from Melbourne in July.

"Today was the very important day," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, referring to the end of the two-week period since police placed the women in isolation.

"Aged care restrictions will be lifted, which I know means a lot to the families, especially over the last week or so when they have not been able to see their loved ones."

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said there one new case of the virus diagnosed overnight, a man in mandatory hotel quarantine who recently returned from overseas.

It brings the state's total to 1,089 COVID-19 cases, with 11 of those active.

"That is really good news, no community transmission in Queensland," Dr Young said.

"We can safely reopen our aged care facilities to visitors."

However, Bolton Clarke aged care facility in Brisbane's southwest will need to remain closed for another day and a half.

"Until we have confirmation that potential outbreak is over," Dr Young said.

It comes two days after the state's border with NSW closed.

Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said roads at the border were "hectic" on Friday night in the hours before the closure and into Saturday morning.

"But over the weekend we've seen the roads, in particular, ease," he said.

Since that time, Queensland police have checked 9946 vehicles attempting to enter the state, with 506 refused entry and 144 placed in quarantine.

Six people were refused entry at airports, with 197 people placed in quarantine.

Police also issued six fines for lying on the border declarations.

"Overall the system has worked very well although there have been some delays with the border declaration passes," Mr Gollschewski said.

Mr Gollschewski also noted that police carried out 504 compliance checks of people quarantining at home and found 98 per cent were doing the right thing.

"Well done to those people and Queensland generally," he said.

Despite the good news, Queenslanders have been urged to remain cautious and continue following COVID-19 health restrictions.

Ms Palaszczuk also said current exemptions for border communities and essential workers could be removed if people break the rules.

"There are some reports in NSW of untraceable community transmission. That is of deep concern to us and we'll be monitoring it very closely," she said.

She also cautioned the organisers of a protest on the Story Bridge that was postponed for a week after Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath blocked it in court.

"There is a big community risk if people gather in large numbers," she said.

"In a pandemic ...it is very hard for this to go ahead."

Australian Associated Press