People enjoying drinks and lunch at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay just after noon on Wednesday, March 31.
People enjoying drinks and lunch at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay just after noon on Wednesday, March 31.

11th COVID case confirmed in Byron hen’s party cluster

A further case of COVID-19 directly linked to the Byron Bay hen’s party cluster has been reported in Queensland.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said of the state‘s 10 new cases recorded on Tuesday, one was community-acquired.

The remainder are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

She said the new community transmission was another attendee of the hen‘s party, which involved 10 people plus an entertainer who travelled to Byron Bay from Queensland between last Friday and Sunday.

“That was the perfect case if I could describe it as that,” Dr Young said.

“This was one of those participants in that party that happened at Byron Bay.”

This case is in addition to ten cases linked to the cluster by Wednesday, including nine in Queensland and a NSW man who became infected while at the Byron Beach Hotel at the same time as the hen’s party group.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Dr Young said the person returned to Queensland, was tested on Monday and returned a negative result that night.

But she remained in quarantine and on Wednesday morning, returned a positive result from a further test.

“They have been in quarantine during their infectious period so (have posed) no risk at all,” Dr Young said.

“The reason I can be reasonably confident that we’re managing these two outbreaks is the amount of testing.

“The amount of testing over the last 48 hours has been astronomical.

“Because of that we can be reasonably confident that we don’t have other chains of transmission.”

She said people should continue to monitor Queensland‘s listed exposure sites – 118 have been listed so far – and get tested if they have any symptoms.

The lockdown on Greater Brisbane will meanwhile be lifted from midday (Qld time) today.

This means NSW residents who have been in Brisbane since March 20 will no longer be subject to the same rules.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced similar restrictions to those now in place in the Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Tweed Shires would apply to all of Queensland from 12pm (Qld) until the same time on April 12.

BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – NewsWire Photos March 30, 2021: An empty Byron Beach Hotel in Byron Bay after a recent COVID-19 scare.
Picture: NCA NewsWire / Scott Powick
BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA – NewsWire Photos March 30, 2021: An empty Byron Beach Hotel in Byron Bay after a recent COVID-19 scare. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Scott Powick

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state recorded 34,711 tests on Wednesday.

“Easter is good to go,” she said.

She cited concerns about road safety as a contributor to the timing of the end of Brisbane‘s lockdown.

“I encourage people to take care on the roads, please be safe and enjoy your time away with family and friends,” she said.

For the next two weeks, anyone in Queensland will need to carry a mask whenever they leave their home.

As in Northern NSW, masks will be mandatory in indoor public places including workplaces and public transport across Queensland.

Gatherings in homes will be restricted to 30 people and there can be no dancing in public venues.


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