New South Wales has rolled out additional safeguards to manage returning overseas travellers as the state records one new locally acquired COVID-19 case.
The new case has been linked to the Berala cluster in Sydney’s west, which now numbers 21, while five further cases were recorded by travellers in hotel quarantine.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant announced under the new guidelines, in accordance with Communicable Diseases Network Australia, a case will not be released from isolation until at least 14 days after symptom onset and will have a PCR test at the end of the isolation period.
Positive cases will also undergo genome sequencing in a timely manner and all staff at quarantine hotels will undergo daily testing.
The changes come a day after Greater Brisbane was placed in a three-day lockdown after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the UK’s highly-infectious mutant strain.
Authorities fear the cleaner, a woman aged in her 20s, had been infected and active in the community since January 2.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged the public that “we shouldn’t be attributing these variants to one country because the so-called UK strain now exists in 30 countries”.
“We have to assume that this strain will become the dominant strain and it is important to keep re-assessing our settings, keep staying vigilant and for the immediate future keep wearing our masks in those indoor settings,” she added.