Sydney declared virus hot spot by state, triggering visitor ban

New South Wales state, which has Sydney as its capital, recorded 19 new cases of the virus on June 28, 2020.
New South Wales state, which has Sydney as its capital, recorded 19 new cases of the virus on June 28, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Queensland state will close its borders to all visitors from Sydney from Saturday (Aug 1), after declaring Australia's most-populous city a coronavirus hot spot.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision on Wednesday came after two 19-year-old women tested positive for Covid-19 following their return to Queensland from visits to Melbourne, the centre of Australia's resurgence in the pandemic, and Sydney.

The pair had failed to isolate for 14 days as required on their return.

The two women circulated in the community for eight days before testing positive to Covid-19, triggering the closure of a school and shopping centres that they visited for two days in order for deep cleaning to take place.

New South Wales state, which has Sydney as its capital, recorded 19 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, versus the previous day.

Victoria state, which hosts the city of Melbourne that has been forced into a second lockdown, on Tuesday reported 384 new cases of Covid-19, down from Monday's record of 532 new cases.

The state said on Tuesday it will suspend all but the most urgent elective surgeries in Melbourne as it seeks to free up hospital beds and nurses to fight a spike in cases in aged-care homes.