Millions of Queenslanders are ordered to stay home amid school outbreak

Australia’s tough lockdowns look set to be in place for weeks as millions of Queenslanders are ordered to stay at home amid a school outbreak and Sydney faces five more weeks of restrictions.   

Queensland‘s Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread with 13 cases of community transmission announced at the state’s Monday morning Covid update. 

Deputy Premier Steven Milles said the state’s lockdown will be extended until 4pm next Sunday as a result of the new cases.  

Seven of the new cases are students from Ironside State School. The others are also related to the school, five being household members or family contacts.

One case is linked to a confirmed case from a karate club that trains at the school. 

‘For us to come out of this at the weekend, we need absolutely everyone in those LGAs to stay at home if they can,’ Mr Miles said of the extended lockdown. 

‘It is absolutely critical that people only leave their homes for the four reasons. There’s too many cars on the road in Brisbane at the moment. Too many people out and about.’

Mr Miles confirmed home learning would be in place from Tuesday for the rest of the week for students of Queensland’s state schools.

‘Private schools will largely also have similar arrangements.’ 

Australia's tough lockdowns look set to be in place for weeks as millions of Queenslanders are ordered to stay at home amid a school outbreak and Sydney faces five more weeks of restrictions. Pictured: People queue for a Covid-19 test in Brisbane, Queensland

Australia's tough lockdowns look set to be in place for weeks as millions of Queenslanders are ordered to stay at home amid a school outbreak and Sydney faces five more weeks of restrictions. Pictured: People queue for a Covid-19 test in Brisbane, Queensland

Australia’s tough lockdowns look set to be in place for weeks as millions of Queenslanders are ordered to stay at home amid a school outbreak and Sydney faces five more weeks of restrictions. Pictured: People queue for a Covid-19 test in Brisbane, Queensland

Queensland 's Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread with 13 cases of community transmission announced at the state's Monday morning Covid update. Pictured: Police check a member of the public is complying with lockdown orders in Brisbane

Queensland 's Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread with 13 cases of community transmission announced at the state's Monday morning Covid update. Pictured: Police check a member of the public is complying with lockdown orders in Brisbane

Queensland ‘s Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread with 13 cases of community transmission announced at the state’s Monday morning Covid update. Pictured: Police check a member of the public is complying with lockdown orders in Brisbane

Deputy Premier Steven Milles said the state's lockdown will be extended until 4pm next Sunday as a result of the new cases. Pictured: Police check a member of the public is complying with lockdown orders in Brisbane

Deputy Premier Steven Milles said the state's lockdown will be extended until 4pm next Sunday as a result of the new cases. Pictured: Police check a member of the public is complying with lockdown orders in Brisbane

Deputy Premier Steven Milles said the state’s lockdown will be extended until 4pm next Sunday as a result of the new cases. Pictured: Police check a member of the public is complying with lockdown orders in Brisbane

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick also announced a $260 million (£137,450) support package for Queensland businesses at the Monday update.

‘We’ll be opening an 2021 COVID Business Support Program,’ he said. ‘That will be $5,000 grants available to Queensland businesses – not just businesses in the locked down area.

Mr Dick said the grants would also be available to large businesses who operate in Queensland’s extensive hospitality and tourism industries.   

On Sunday, Sydney Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a ramped up vaccination campaign could see the city’s gruelling lockdown lifted as soon as September.  

Cooped-up Sydneysiders are entering their sixth week of lockdown after NSW recorded 239 locally acquired cases on Sunday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who extended stay-at-home orders to at least August 28 as the latest outbreak rose to 3,427 infections, said her government had a plan to ‘break records’ as it ramped up its immunisation campaign.  

‘Once you get to 50 per cent vaccination, 60 per cent, 70 per cent, that triggers more freedoms. We can turn this around in four weeks,’ she said on Sunday.

On Sunday, Sydney Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a ramped up vaccination campaign could see the city's gruelling lockdown lifted as soon as September. Pictured: Sydney's Bondi Beach was teeming with people, despite strict stay-at-home orders

On Sunday, Sydney Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a ramped up vaccination campaign could see the city's gruelling lockdown lifted as soon as September. Pictured: Sydney's Bondi Beach was teeming with people, despite strict stay-at-home orders

On Sunday, Sydney Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a ramped up vaccination campaign could see the city’s gruelling lockdown lifted as soon as September. Pictured: Sydney’s Bondi Beach was teeming with people, despite strict stay-at-home orders

NSW's vaccination rate sits at about 15 per cent for those who have received both jabs and 32 per cent have received only one dose. Pictured: Bondi Beach on Monday

NSW's vaccination rate sits at about 15 per cent for those who have received both jabs and 32 per cent have received only one dose. Pictured: Bondi Beach on Monday

NSW’s vaccination rate sits at about 15 per cent for those who have received both jabs and 32 per cent have received only one dose. Pictured: Bondi Beach on Monday

‘We have the month of August to get the vaccination rates as high as possible. Let August be the month where we break records with the vaccination.’ 

NSW’s vaccination rate sits at about 15 per cent for those who have received both jabs and 32 per cent have received only one dose. 

But with 82,000 doses distributed in 24 hours and 4.5 million more Pfizer jabs to be delivered to Australia in August, federal health officials are confident NSW could carry out about 650,000 vaccinations a week.

At that rate, NSW could hit its target of 70 per cent coverage by early September. 

The encouraging increase in people getting vaccinated against Covid in NSW comes after a slow start due to the federal government’s bungled jab rollout. 

Scott Morrison’s government in the early stages of the pandemic had relied on the AstraZeneca jab for the bulk of its inoculation campaign. 

But those plans were thrown into disarray almost immediately in April when the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advised that only over 50s should receive the shot due to the extremely remote risk of developing blood clots.

Shortly after the age cut off was increased to 60 but now with the highly contagious Indian Delta variant sweeping through Sydney, ATAGI advises that those aged over 18 speak to their GP.

While Australia has been lacking a viable alternative jab after the federal government failed to secure enough Pfizer doses, those problems will soon be solved.

There are 4.5 million shots of Pfizer which were scheduled to arrive in September, fast-tracked to land in Australia during August which is expected to see the nation’s vaccination numbers increase from between 300,000 and 350,000 a week to over a million. 

Ms Berejiklian inferred that vaccination rates could be answer to lifting the dreaded lockdown on Sunday. 

‘There is no place in the world that has been able to live with the Delta virus and not have higher rates of vaccination. We have to be very clear about that,’ she said.    

‘We want this to be the last lockdown we have and we can make that happen if we get vaccinated.

‘Our strategy for NSW is to get vaccination rates to 60, 70, 80 per cent. That means we can live with the Delta variant and we won’t have to go in and out of ­lockdown.’

She made a plea for Sydneysiders to get vaccinated amid the worrying case numbers. 

‘Today is August 1 and I am calling upon the people of greater Sydney, and NSW, to come forward and get vaccinated,’ she said.

‘To get to the 70 per cent target we need 9.2 million jabs. To get the 80 per cent target we need 10 million jabs. We have been talking about this in NSW for some time.’

The 80 per cent target has been set by the federal government as the key to reopening the border and scrapping state lockdowns.

Australia recorded 475 new cases on Saturday. 

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