Quarantine cleaner’s partner tests positive as Brisbane lockdown lifts

The partner of the Brisbane quarantine hotel cleaner who spent five days in the community with the more infectious United Kingdom COVID-19 variant and led to a three-day city lockdown has also tested positive to the virus, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has confirmed.

While the man has been in quarantine since January 7 – the same day Queensland authorities alerted the public to the cleaner's movements during the time she was believed to have been infectious – further contact tracing will now be conducted.



But Dr Young stressed there would be no change to the easing of the three-day lockdown, which lifted at 6pm Monday evening, after earlier stating cases among the 370 contacts already found would not result in a snap back to stay-at-home orders.

No new locally acquired cases had been reported during the regular update from state authorities on Monday, or across the weekend, easing fears of potential cluster seeded by the UK variant's first escape from Australian hotel quarantine.

"We know this particular variant of COVID-19 is more contagious, so this result is unsurprising," Dr Young said in a statement issued on Monday evening.

"However, it highlights the importance of why the Greater Brisbane lockdown was so important to ensure any potential spread of the virus is contained."

The man had already returned one negative test result before his infection was confirmed today, with genome sequencing expected to confirm it was also the UK variant. Additional testing of other close contacts of the couple will continue this week.

"We are determining the man’s potential infectious period and contact tracing is underway," Dr Young added.

"We usually do not report any new cases until the next reporting period, however I wanted to stress again the importance of anyone, no matter where they are in the state, to come forward for testing if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 whatsoever."

While the hard lockdown of more than 2.3 million south-east Queensland residents will end at 6pm on Monday, masks will remain mandatory in many indoor settings for the next 10 days.

Mass gathering restrictions and density limits for businesses will also stay in place until 1am on Friday, January 22.

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