Today Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Townsville, Palm Island and Magnetic Island will lift its three day lockdown from 6pm this evening (Friday 2 July).
Ipswich, Logan City, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast will also lift lockdowns at this time, but it will extend for 24 hours in the Brisbane and Moreton Bay local government areas after additional cases of community transmission were detected.
For the 11 local government areas where lockdown lifts tonight, additional measures will remain in place for 14 days until 5.59pm on Friday 16 July. These include:
- Residents must carry a mask at all times outside the home and wear them indoors or if social distancing isn’t possible. Masks may be removed when sitting down to eat and drink, undertaking strenuous exercise and for employment purposes.
- You must be seated to drink or eat in cafés and restaurants
- Businesses and venues must return to the one person per 4m² inside and one person per 2m² outdoors
- Smaller venues up to 200m² are allowed one person per 2m² with a maximum of 50 people.
- Private gatherings are restricted to 30 people, and up to 100 people can attend weddings and funerals.
- Only 20 people can dance at weddings.
ADVOCACY UPDATE FROM THE CEO....
Whilst we respect and understand the decision for the lockdown, from an economic and destination brand perspective the damage is significant. We are at a critical point for what the future holds for Townsville’s business recovery and travel sentiment.
This is why we have formally written to both the Premier and Prime Minister requesting immediate financial assistance for businesses to access now and during any future lockdowns. These asks have come directly from our business community, particularly the tourism, hospitality, and accommodation sector, in their responses to our Business Impact Survey.
We have provided this data to both levels of government for an honest account on exactly how businesses are impacted and the dire outlook for their future operations.
We have proposed a Small Business Response Framework comprising grants and tax benefit schemes for businesses to access during lockdowns to support immediate recovery, long-term business operations, and keeping staff employed. This is similar to the New South Wales and Victorian Governments business support packages.
Additionally, to attract visitation back to our region we have proposed the $10 million aviation funding announced in the recent State Budget to be diverted to a half price flights incentive scheme. Additional destination marketing activities by Tourism and Events Queensland will also need to be activated now to salvage the remaining school holidays and events season for our region.
Whilst we understand Townsville is not a declared Commonwealth hotspot, we believe it vitally important to engage with the Federal Government to request support that can be made available to our businesses.
What happens in the next 24 to 48 hours will be the difference in whether some businesses can remain operational or close their doors for good. We are continuing positive dialogue with all levels of government and are hopeful for an assistance package to be announced sooner rather than later.
This will provide certainty and security for the future livelihoods of business owners and their employees as we work towards a vaccination target.
In the meantime, our destination marketing will focus on attracting locals and the drive market to experience our beautiful backyard. We encourage the community to get out and support our tourism, events, and hospitality industry as best as they can. We have major events like NAFA and Supercars about to kick off so after three days of lockdown there is plenty to be enjoyed across our region.
Chief Executive Officer
MAGNETIC ISLAND AND TOWNSVILLE CLOSE CONTACTS
- We understand from the Public Health Unit that anyone who visited the exposure sites on Magnetic Island and across Townsville during the identified timeframes is considered a close contact and must remain in isolation until contacted by Queensland Health. Even after receiving a negative test result.
- If you have not been tested but are considered a close contact you must present for a test ASAP and stay in quarantine for 14 days from date of exposure.
- The whole of Magnetic Island is considered a casual contact and if you did not visit the exposure sites during the timeframes identified you do not need to remain in isolation.
SEALINK SERVICES UPDATE
From Saturday 3 July SeaLink will resume its standard ferry timetable, however, additional measures will remain in place for 14 days, such as mask wearing.
The testing centres in Townsville, Magnetic Island, and Palm Island are still operating if you require testing. There are minimal wait times. If you have any symptoms, get tested. Locations as follows:
- 1300 Smiles Stadium drive-through coronavirus assessment clinic
- QML drive-through testing clinic located at James Cook University
- Sullivan Nicolaides drive-through testing clinic located at the Murray Sporting Complex
- Magnetic Island Health Primary Care Clinic at Nelly Bay
- Palm Island Primary Healthcare Centre