‘Mutant virus circulating corridors’: Premier UK strain fear
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned the highly-contagious mutant UK COVID strain is 'circulating in corridors' of medi-hotels, calling for more to be done about hotel quarantine in Australia.
Calling for the Federal Government to do more ahead of a potentially fiery national cabinet today, Ms Palaszczuk said the state's hotels are now taking the place of hospitals and medical centres instead of being tourism buildings.
"Our hotels weren't built for this contagious strain, this UK variant - our hotels are for travellers and tourists and businesses and they are taking the place of hospitals at the moment," she said.
"Of course there are issues about in the corridor, this virus is actually circulating in the corridors. So it's a wake-up call."
"More needs to be done otherwise we won't be able to control an outbreak of this strain.
"Our quarantine is our last line of defence when it comes to protecting Australians.
"You can only put options on the table, it's up to the Prime Minister to come to the party and help.
"It should be a 50:50 partnership here.
Ms Palaszczuk's comments come as it is confirmed the coronavirus strain that escaped hotel quarantine in Melbourne after a worker tested positive is the highly contagious UK variant.
It follow's last month's hotel quarantine outbreak in Brisbane's Grand Chancellor hotel where a cleaner was infected without coming into contact with a COVID-positive guest.
The Queensland government is set to reveal findings of the investigation which rules out a deliberate breach or transmission via airconditioning.
"There may be recommendations there about wearing masks when you open the doors to get food or put linen out," said Ms Palaszczuk.
Ms Palaszczuk also hit back at criticism from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over the regional quarantine solution, calling for "serious conversation" between Australians about the proposal and how each state can set up their own regional hub.
"I think you need everyone to be on the same page and I think if Gladys had an outbreak like we have had in other states she might change her mind as well," she said.
"Let's have an open and frank conversation about it because you need everybody to sign up to it otherwise it's not going to work.
"This is why I've been calling to have quarantine in other locations. Away from your city centres where everyone has to travel back and forth."
Ahead of the handing down of a report into the Hotel Grand Chancellor COVID cluster, which saw the UK strain transfer to six people in hotel quarantine, Ms Palaszczuk said there may be new rules relating to mask wearing.
"There may be recommendations there about wearing masks when you are open the doors to get food or put linen out," she said.
Originally published as 'Mutant virus circulating corridors': Premier warns hotels can't hold UK strain