'Incredible': Queensland Has No New Virus Cases Three Days In A Row
Queensland's health minister Dr Steven Miles has announced "incredible" news ahead of Mother's Day, with the state reporting no new coronavirus cases for three consecutive days.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday morning, Miles said there were zero confirmed new cases and only 20 active cases in the state, "which again is incredible".
"We're continuing to test thousands of people every single day 3,610 tests in the last 24 hours," Miles said.
"Tomorrow will be a great day for Queensland mums. For the first time, they'll be able to have their kids and grandkids to their homes in household groups," he said.
He also said the good news is great timing given the easing back into schools next week given there have been only 11 new cases of COVID-19 this week.
"Then starting Monday, schools begin to return to normal. I've got a very excited grade one student who can't wait to get to school in my household, and I'm sure there are many, many other kids and mums eager for that return to school," he said.
On Friday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced 'step one' of the government's restriction easing plan will come into effect on May 16, opening pools, cafes, day trips, and larger home gatherings.
"And then, of course, next weekend, we step on to those stage one easings, and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to that," Miles said.
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a three-step plan to get Australia back to "where we need to be as quickly as possible", with hopes most restrictions will be lifted by July.
He emphasised states and territories would be responsible for how and when they will implement the plan.
For example, opening beauticians is part of stage two, according to the PM's plan, however, Queensland will begin to open beauty and nail salons in stage one.
In the Queensland outback, where there have been no COVID-19 cases, locals can travel up to 500km from home from May 16.
Up to 20 locals will be allowed to dine in at outback pubs and cafes.
Bars and gaming facilities will remain closed in the first phase of a staged easing of the state's lockdown, but up to 10 people at a time can dine in at restaurants, pubs, licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels.
Recreational travel for day trips up to 150km from home will be allowed
The announcement has been welcomed by the tourism sector.
"The only thing that will save us is to get businesses back to work," Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said.
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