Qld declares hotspot in eastern Sydney

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says Waverley in Sydney has been declared a hotspot.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says Waverley in Sydney has been declared a hotspot.

Queensland has declared a hotspot in Sydney's east, warning people to reconsider visiting the city after further community transmission of a highly infectious coronavirus strain.

From 1am on Saturday, returning Queenslanders and anyone who's been in the Waverley Council area in the past fortnight will have to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says Queensland cannot risk importing the strain detected in a Sydney shopper who had only fleeting contact with the presumed source of his infection - a limousine driver for international air crew.

"It is a highly contagious variant.We believe we need to act quickly to ensure we don't have any of that transmission coming up to Queensland," she told reporters on Friday.

She also revealed 17 people in Queensland had come forward to advise they'd been at exposure sites during recent interstate travel. All are now in quarantine.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young warned the Waverley hotspot could be widened if Sydney's cluster continued to grow.

"People need to reconsider whether or not they should be travelling to Greater Sydney at this time. And they need to be prepared, that they may need to, when they come back, go to government hotel quarantine for 14 days."

The hotspot was announced as Queensland police revealed they'd fined two Victorian road trippers $4000 each for providing false information on their border declarations.

The couple, aged in their 40s, left their Melbourne home during a lockdown and travelled through regional NSW to Queensland.

They sparked public health alerts in both states after they tested positive following their June 5 arrival. Police had to wait to interview the pair, who were only released from a Sunshine Coast hospital on Friday.

Further north, a 29-year-old Victorian man has fallen from the side of a quarantine hotel where he was taken after arriving in Cairns on Friday morning.

The man attempted to leave quarantine by scaling the outside of the building just after 11am, police said.

He landed on the roof of a car park suffering minor injuries to his legs and is now in hospital. Police couldn't not say how far he fell, but said he was in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, a family from regional Victoria who flew into Cairns on Friday has also ended up in hotel quarantine because they caught a shuttle bus to Melbourne airport.

The family lived outside Greater Melbourne, which Queensland considers a hotspot.

But because they caught a public shuttle bus from a car parking facility to the airport in Melbourne, which is within the hotspot, they have fallen foul of Queensland's coronavirus restrictions.

They must remain in hotel quarantine in Cairns for two weeks or agree to return to Melbourne immediately.

Dr Young said it was unfortunate but the Victorian couple could have been infected by Melbourne residents during the shuttle bus ride.

"I have been saying for the last 18 months that when you are from an area that is not a hotspot, and you need to travel through an airport that is in a hotspot, you need to go direct - not on public transport," she said.

"A shuttle bus is public transport."

Queensland had no new cases of community transmission on Friday but three new cases were detected in hotel quarantine.

Australian Associated Press