The boss of Flight Centre has blasted the decision to send Brisbane into a three-day lockdown and warned it will cost the economy billions of dollars.
Graham Turner, the co-founder of the travel giant, said it was ‘sheer lunacy’ to force residents to stay at home and claimed there was ‘no evidence’ the lockdown would help control Queensland’s coronavirus outbreak.
‘Locking Brisbane down will have a short-range three-day effect, it will cost $1billion to $2billion, but the impact will last longer, and just as domestic travel was coming back,’ Mr Turner told the Courier Mail.
‘(The lockdowns have) achieved nothing. There is no evidence it has achieved anything. We are talking billions of dollars here for a three-day lockdown.’
Other companies have called on the government to be stronger with the distribution of vaccines, saying the constant threat of lockdowns is not financially sustainable.
Queensland businesses are preparing for another tenuous period financially after the government closed all non-essentials for the three-day lockdown period.
The state’s travel sector in particular is expecting huge losses with the possibility of travel not being reinstated before the Easter long weekend.
It comes amid fears a coronavirus cluster in Brisbane, which grew to seven on Monday, could be spreading to NSW after two infected women attended a bachelorette party in Byron Bay.
The boss of Flight Centre has blasted the decision to send Brisbane into lockdown in a bid to control a coronavirus cluster (quiet street seen on Monday afternoon)
A nurse and her sister partied in NSW’s Byron Bay (testing site pictured) for a bachelorette party while infected with Covid
A nurse and her sister unknowingly had coronavirus while partying in the coastal town on the NSW north coast on the weekend spanning March 26 to March 28.
The pair visited a string of popular venues including the Byron Beach Hotel and The Farm.
NSW Health released an alert on Monday evening saying anyone that had visited the Queensland capital since March 20 must immediately self-isolate and not leave their house until Thursday at 5pm.
Residents of Byron Bay are being urged to be especially vigilant in monitoring their health and are encouraging anyone with even the mildest symptoms to get tested immediately.
A number of venues at the popular tourist destination have fallen under the immediate testing category, with anyone who attented the Byron Beach Hotel, The Farm, Mokha Cafe and Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park told to immediately seek a test and self-isolate until told otherwise.
Ghanda Clothing, Tiger Lily, Black Sheep, Quicksilver, Suffolk Bakery and the Park Hotel Bottle Shop are also in the same category.
The relevant times for the enforced isolation period can be found on the NSW Health website.
The pair visited the popular Byron Beach Hotel on Friday March 28 between 7pm and 9pm (pictured) while positive infectious with the virus
Flight Centre co-founder Graham Turner (pictured) said there was ‘no evidence’ lockdowns had achieved anything
NSW Health say the lockdown will remain in place for residents who visited Brisbane since March 20 for the same duration as the Queensland mandate.
They will only be allowed to leave for essential reasons including food, medical care and exercise.
The state has also issued entry declaration forms from March 27 for people who have spent time in the Greater Brisbane area.
The forms are to help authorities track anyone who may be linked or exposed to the new outbreak of the UK strain of the virus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the infected people have been out in the community and travelled to central Queensland and northern NSW.
To stem transmission, Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands will go into a three-day lockdown from 5pm on Monday – an area with about 2.5 million people.
‘I didn’t sleep last night so I think I am very worried, I’m very concerned,’ Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
‘But we’ve done it before, we’ve got through this together, and I’m sure that if everyone does the right thing we will be able to get through it.’
People with even the slightest of symptoms are being encouraged to seek a test immediately and self-isolate until further notice
Greater Brisbane has been ordered into a three-day lockdown after a coronavirus cluster grew to seven cases with evidence of ‘significant community transmission’
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown would be reviewed on Thursday, ahead of the Easter holiday break this weekend.
Greater Brisbane schools and all non-essential businesses premises must close from Monday afternoon.
‘This will also enable our health authorities to get on top of the contact tracing,’ the premier said.
‘This is a huge job now that we have to do because we’ve got more of this community transmission.’
It is the second Greater Brisbane lockdown this year after an earlier shutdown in January.
Anyone who has been in Brisbane since March 20 will also come under the lockdown restrictions.
One of the cases travelled to Gladstone and Gin Gin from March 25 to March 27 and two cases visited venues in Byron Bay in NSW on March 26 and March 28.
The premier said face masks would be mandatory in Brisbane, and will need to be worn indoors throughout the rest of Queensland.
All venues outside Greater Brisbane will only be allowed to host seated patrons.
NSW Health released an alert on Monday evening saying anyone that had visited the Queensland capital since March 20 must immediately self-isolate and not leave their house until Thursday at 5pm
New South Wales residents who have recently returned from Brisbane must immediately go into a three-day lockdown
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says four of the new cases are linked to two men in northern Brisbane and a Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor who tested positive.
Two cases are colleagues of a Strathpine man who tested positive on Friday night, while the other cases are a doctor, who tested positive on March 12, and her sister.
Dr Young said it was unclear where the transmission occurred and genomic testing on both latter cases was underway.
‘We now have significant community transmission,’ she said.
States and territories have also moved to restrict incoming travel from Brisbane and the state.
Western Australia will close its border to the entire state of Queensland from 1201am (WST) on Tuesday.
Tasmania has shut its border to Greater Brisbane travellers, while South Australia will do so from 4pm (CST) and Victoria closes to Brisbanites from 6pm (AEDT).
Anyone from Greater Brisbane must isolate and get tested upon entering the Northern Territory and the ACT.
Entry declarations that ask for details of visits to venues of concern are required for Greater Brisbane arrivals, and NSW Health is advising against non-essential travel to the northern city.
Thousands have attempted to leave Brisbane after the three-day lockdown threw Easter long weekend plans into disarray
Brisbane residents had until 5pm on Monday to leave the state or be locked down
Greater Brisbane schools and all non-essential businesses premises must close from Monday afternoon
It is the second Greater Brisbane lockdown this year after an earlier shutdown in January