A child linked to Brisbane’s Sunnybank cluster has tested positive for Covid-19 on the final day of home quarantine.
The case has reset the quarantine clock for that family, meaning they will now have to spend another fortnight isolating at home.
It was the only new case of the virus reported in Queensland on Saturday.
The Queensland health minister, Yvette D’Ath, thanked the 2,000 or so people who have had to quarantine at home due to the Sunnybank cluster, saying they have protected the broader Queensland community.
She also said Queensland could not simply reopen its borders to those stranded interstate.
“I appreciate people are eager to come back, but many of these people have actually gone interstate knowing what the rules are,” D’Ath said. “We can’t have thousands of people all just coming home and all going into home quarantine without looking at the risk.”
The minister said Queensland was “very much” at the mercy of what other states ordered in terms of lockdowns.
“It’s not so much we’ve shut the border,” she said. “These are the states that make decisions to lock down their own communities and our decisions are reflecting that.”
New figures show Queensland currently has 3,607 people in home quarantine. That figure includes 2,199 who are close contacts of locally acquired Covid-19 cases, and 421 who have entered the state from a virus hotspot.
So far this month Queensland has received 4,277 exemption requests, including 3,262 relating to border restrictions. Of those, 823 exemptions concerning border restrictions have been granted.
“Approvals may have be in whole or in part and could include any combination of requests to enter Queensland, to drive instead of fly to a designated entry airport, or to quarantine at home instead of in a hotel,” Queensland Health said.
The data shows there has been a flood of requests by people seeking permission to quarantine at home rather than in a hotel, with 1,995 lodged between 1 August and 23 September.
Meanwhile, Queensland hospitality and tourism businesses will be granted further state and federal government aid as they continue to be hamstrung by border closures.
Attractions will receive $30m from a pre-existing $600m support package.
The aid comes in the form of grants for up to $4m for sites that can demonstrate they are key drivers of tourism and have been hard hit.
Tourism and hospitality businesses of all sizes will be eligible for grants up to $50,000 if they can show they have suffered a drop in turnover of at least 70 per cent.
The Queensland treasurer, Cameron Dick, says while tourism from within Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory is still viable, the industry has suffered.
The federal treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, says a successful Queensland tourism industry depends on all Australians getting vaccinated.
“Governments must also hold up their end of the bargain and stick to the plan agreed at national cabinet that will see restrictions ease and our borders open up as we reach our vaccination targets of 70-80%,” he said.