Scott Morrison has challenged Greater Brisbane residents to “stay where you are” after labelling the region’s strict lockdown as “wise” and “sensible”.
The Prime Minister met with state and territory leaders at National Cabinet on Friday to discuss how to deal with a new strain of COVID-19 which has been found in Queensland.
The UK strain, which is more infectious than previous strains, was found in a cleaner in hotel quarantine in Brisbane.
It has prompted a strict three-day lockdown of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redlands from 6pm on Friday.
Morrison said the Queensland government’s response was “proportionate” and “very wise”.
“The situation in Brisbane is a serious situation,” Morrison said on Friday.
“Yes, we know there is only one case.
“But what we do know is that this new strain is some 70 per cent more transmissible than the previous strains of the virus.
“This strain is likely to become, in the very near future, the dominant strain – as it largely already is in the UK.
“But we anticipate that this will become the more dominant strain of the virus globally.
“And so the idea that it somehow can be contained just out of the United Kingdom is a false hope.
“It moves so quickly, far more quickly that previous strains of the virus.
“That means we need to give our contact tracers that headstart to ensure they can track down and run down all the contacts from this individual.
“There are many unknowns and uncertainties in relation to the new strain.
“That’s why this precautionary approach, we believe, is very sensible.
“This will ensure that hopefully we will not see this go to the next level.”
Morrison has thanked Queenslanders for “the patience they’ll be called on (to show) over the next few days”.
But he challenged them not to breach the restrictions.
“Stay where you are. Don’t go anywhere,” Morrison warned.
“Don’t go to another state or any other part of the state.
“If you’re somewhere else and you’re planning to go there, don’t.”