A COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland has jumped the border, with the sole case diagnosed prompting the cancellation of a popular music festival and the reintroduction of restrictions in northern NSW.
A NSW man in his 20s returned a positive test to the virus late on Tuesday, after unknowingly infectious travellers visited venues in the Byron Bay region.
The case will be included in Thursday’s figures, and is the first in NSW linked to two separate clusters spreading through Queensland.
The man’s diagnosis prompted Health Minister Brad Hazzard to cancel Bluesfest, the second year in a row the popular event has not gone ahead.
The festival was due to begin on Thursday, and was expected to draw up to 16,000 people per day.
Authorities have also reintroduced a range of restrictions for four council areas near the border.
Until at least Tuesday, gatherings in Byron, Ballina, Tweed and Lismore will be limited to 30, the “four square metre” rule reintroduced, and masks mandated in some settings.
The premier also urged residents living in the area not to head elsewhere for the Easter break.
“It is our very strong preference that if you live in any of those four local government areas, that you don’t travel outside those areas,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Wednesday.
“We won’t be policing that but it is very strong advice.
“We don’t want a super-spreading event like the northern beaches which then resulted in us having to go further.”
The COVID-positive man’s household contacts have tested negative and the man has been in self-isolation since Monday.
Two new coronavirus cases emerged in the community in Queensland on Wednesday, taking the total number of community infections to 17.
The Greater Brisbane lockdown is due to end at 5pm on Thursday.
Australian Associated Press