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Brisbane lockdown extended after infectious duo go shopping

Brisbane’s lockdown has been extended by at least another day after an infectious mother and daughter made their way through several retail outlets in the last week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Other parts of Queensland will see restrictions lift at 6pm today, though the areas of Brisbane City Council and Moreton Bay will face another day of lockdown as contact tracers race to figure out how the pair were infected.

“We really need our contact tracers to get on top of this issue today,” said Palaszczuk. “I am just asking for that extra 24 hours.”

According to chief health officer Jeannette Young, the mother and daughter had visited a Harris Farm Market, several Woolworths stores, JB Hi-Fi, Mecca Maxima and Zara in the space of three days, as well as coffee shops and a church.

They tested positive after having visited these stores.

Under the continued restrictions, impacted households will only be able to leave their homes to work, study, exercise, seek medical attention or buy essential goods – though what ‘essential’ entails has been a topic of confusion this week.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said it is practically “impossible” to define essential retail, since if, for example, someone had just moved and needed bath towels, a homewares store could be considered essential.

The confusion caused by unclear restrictive orders do nothing but add cost and anxiety to retailers in deciding what to do, ARA chief executive Paul Zahra said.

“A year and a half into this pandemic, there is no excuse for this confusion. We must have national harmonisation on what triggers a lockdown, and what is defined as essential and non-essential retail,’ Zahra said.

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