Why NQ can’t come out of COVID-19 lockdown yet
Despite there being no active coronavirus cases in Townsville, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said North Queensland will not have its coronavirus restrictions relaxed before any other part of the state.
She was asked by Ayr local Callan Oar on the ABC's Q&A show last night why the restrictions have not been eased for the state's north.
"How is it fair that other than a small cluster in Cairns there have a been no known locally acquired infections north of the Fraser Coast, yet we North Queenslanders are subject to the same draconian-type restrictions as the southeast? When can we get back to business?" he asked.
#qanda Bloke from Ayr in QLD wants to know why they can't have any active #COVID19 cases in their area because they're feeling left out, and wants restrictions lifted locally so they can join in the fun. Jesus...@QandA— andrew lambkin (@feverpitch96) May 11, 2020
Ms Palaszczuk responded, saying the lack of any known cases did not mean there was no risk to North Queensland.
"We have 2,000 people still in quarantine throughout Queensland. Which means they have the potential to have the virus and spread it," she said.
"We need to be very vigilant and make sure we are getting to clamp down on it as much as possible."
Ms Palaszczuk said opening up regions will depend on the number of people in quarantine in those areas.
Last week Queensland Health declared the Townsville region, which encompasses Charters Towers, the Burdekin and Hinchinbrook region, no longer had any active coronavirus cases.
Each region had a confirmed case but they have since been cleared.
Queensland Health data shows there are still active cases in Cairns, with another 16 active cases in the southeast corner of the state.
The economic impact on the city caused by the pandemic, equating to $530 million, is said to be worse than the closure of the Queensland Nickel refinery, the Global Financial Crisis and the 2019 floods combined.
Millions in value and thousands of jobs are expected to be lost across the retail, accommodation, hospitality, construction and education sectors.