Palaszczuk proposes QLD mining camps as hotel quarantine alternative

Palaszczuk proposes QLD mining camps as hotel quarantine alternative

Those returning to Queensland from overseas could be completing their mandatory fortnight of quarantine in the state's mining camps if a proposal from the Premier is approved.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was looking at using QLD mining camps to accommodate international travellers instead of CBD hotels.

At this stage the idea is simply a proposal, but the Premier will be raising the concept at the next National Cabinet meeting to seek approval from the Federal Government.

According to Palaszczuk, accommodation at mining camps is ideal for quarantine purposes: the facilities are top quality, complete with balconies for fresh air, and staff can stay on site.

The proposal follows the latest case of community transmission in Queensland, contracted at CBD-based Hotel Grand Chancellor by a cleaner of the quarantine facility.

That case, a positive infection of the UK variant of COVID-19, sent the city of Brisbane into a three-day lockdown last week.

The proposal mirrors the approach taken by the Northern Territory government where returning travellers are accommodated at the Howard Springs quarantine facility - a disused workers camp.

"With this new strain, we have to put all options on the table, and these are sensible, rational options," Palaszczuk said.

"Howard Springs works very well in the Northern Territory, and there's no reason why we couldn't do something similar here in Queensland.

"We are looking at alternative plans to hotel quarantine that is based right in the midst of the CBD where you have a whole lot of staff that come in from all around and you have people flying in and out of airports."

The announcement comes as QLD reported four new cases of COVID-19 today, all in hotel quarantine. None of the new cases were detected in Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Hotel Grand Chancellor public health alert issued in NSW

NSW Health has asked anyone who stayed at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane since 30 December 2020, either as a returned traveller or as a staff member, to isolate for two weeks.

The alert comes after six cases of the UK variant of COVID-19 were linked to the hotel.

According to NSW Health the Queensland Government said there were people staying at the hotel who have since returned to NSW.

"NSW Health is working with Queensland Health to identify these people so our contact tracers can provide public health advice and updated information as it becomes available," NSW Health said.

"This variant is known to spread more easily from person to person than other strains of the COVID-19 virus."

Photo via AUSCO Modular

Updated at 10.57am AEDT on 14 January 2021.

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