The Brisbane shutdown ended at 6 p.m. Saturday despite the state registering five new Covid-19 cases, including one that is not linked to an existing outbreak.
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Saturday morning that the state was “not out of the woods yet” and that some restrictions, including mask mandates, would remain in place, but that the rapid closure announced the last week would end.
“We are working hard, but we believe that our contact trackers can fix those problems very carefully,” he said.
Of the new cases, only one, a man in his 50s who worked as a baggage handler at Brisbane National Airport and lived in Carindale, was not linked to a previous case.
The man tested positive after a test bombardment of about 700 airport workers after a couple working there tested positive earlier this week.
Other new cases included a 29-year-old Brisbane man related to a Carindale woman who tested positive on Friday and a woman in her 50s who had worked a shift at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane while infected.
But despite the new cases, Palaszczuk said crowds would be allowed at two soccer games scheduled over the weekend, while state medical director Dr. Jeannette Young said she felt comfortable ending the shutdown because health authorities had “the last four days to really get people and fix it.”
“And because I think Queenslanders know what to do,” he said. “They have been doing this for 18 months and we have more at our disposal.
“As I said, a year ago we didn’t have masks because there weren’t any in the world. We did not have the QR registration code. And we didn’t know much. We were still working on it. We know all that now. “
Other restrictions on staying at the venue included limits on venue capacity and restrictions on dancing at venues, but Palaszczuk also urged vulnerable residents to limit movement.
“Our vulnerable group, our people over 70 years old. Look, for the next 13 days, please, if you are not vaccinated, limit your outings, “he said.
“You know, close family is fine, but please limit yourself and think about, you know, whether or not you need to go to a mall, if your friends or family can leave you some food.
“Because we know there are viruses out there. So we need everyone to come together and act cooperatively and put our trust in each other, and really think about the most vulnerable people in our community. “
Meanwhile, the Northern Territory recorded zero new Covid-19 cases after its instant lockdown ended this week, while Western Australia also did not record any new cases.
Washington Prime Minister Mark McGowan said he expected the restrictions to be relaxed on Tuesday and confirmed that 96% of close contacts linked to the group in the northern suburbs of Perth had tested negative.
The Perth shutdown ended on Friday, but user limits and skin mandates remained in place.
On Saturday McGowan also responded to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s comment that she was “disappointed” that the national cabinet had agreed to restrict the number of Australians returning from abroad.
Labor prime ministers, including McGowan, had successfully lobbied to limit the number of citizens who can enter Australia, despite Berejiklian arguing that the limit would not reduce the risk of hotel quarantine violations.
“Well, she agreed,” McGowan said. “If she disagreed, she could have a different approach, if she wanted to, but she agreed.
“You can’t go into the meeting and agree with something and go out and say that you don’t agree. It’s not really the Australian way. “