Close to 400 people who were quarantining in the Northern Territory after being in Greater Brisbane will leave isolation after the city’s hotspot status was revoked.
Tasmania followed suit, but is only allowing those who entered the state prior to 9am on Friday to leave isolation.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the people were able to exit quarantine in Howard Springs and Alice Springs because there was no community transmission of coronavirus recorded during Brisbane’s three-day lockdown.
“This is the key reason we can remove the hotspot status,” he told reporters on Monday afternoon.
“But the precautions that Queenslanders will be taking for the next 10 days with masks also gives us extra confidence.
“We’ve always been clear that we do not hesitate to add new hot spots … when the evidence shows us that the risk is removed, we act.”
Chief health officer Hugh Heggie apologised to the people who travelled to the Territory and were placed into quarantine.
“They can continue on to go home or on their travels,” he said.
Since 11am, 352 people began exiting Howard Springs and 38 people were leaving the Alice Springs facility, according to acting police commissioner Michael Murphy.
As of 11am, residents from Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redlands council areas were able to enter the NT.
The Northern Territory still considers Greater Sydney a hot spot.
Tasmanian director of public health Mark Veitch said authorities were “confident” it was “extremely unlikely” anybody who was exposed to the confirmed case of the UK variant in Brisbane was in the state.
He said none of the 300 close contacts were identified as being in Tasmania.
“We’ve had no calls to our contact line from people identifying themselves as having been in any of the risk sites in Queensland,” Dr Veitch said.
He noted the extensive testing being conducted throughout the broader Brisbane area and that there were no cases detected in the community so far.
But there was still some uncertainty, Dr Veitch said.
“We’re going to take a very cautious approach over the next few days because I think there remains a small amount of uncertainty about the risk in Brisbane from Friday onwards and that’s why we’re going to maintain the measures for people who arrived here after 9am.
“Those people are at slightly greater risk of being exposed to a case in the Brisbane community that has not yet been picked up.”
Tasmania’s Health Minister Sarah Courtney said those who arrived before the deadline were not considered a high risk.
She thanked them for their patience and advised them to monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms, like any other Tasmanian, and get tested if they arise.
Brisbane came out of lockdown at 6pm on Monday after a three day attempt to stop any spread of the UK variant throughout the community.
The lockdown was imposed after a hotel quarantine worker contracted the highly contagious mutation.
Her partner has now tested positive and genomic testing is expected to confirm it is the UK variant.
Western Australia has indicated Queensland will have to pass a 28-day run of no community transmission before its hard border closure is relaxed.
Victoria continues to label Brisbane a “red zone” with visitors barred from entering the state.