Another 46 cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Queensland overnight, 24 of which were at a restaurant celebrating a 50th birthday.
The partygoers as well as four staff who served diners at Sails Restaurant in Noosa last week have tested positive to COVID-19, according to health officials.
The number of confirmed cases in the state has reached 443, with borders to be closed from midnight tonight, banning the entry of anyone not travelling for work, medical appointments or delivering freight.
The infected Sails Restaurant employees worked at the restaurant on March 18 from 4–11.15pm and March 19 from 3–10pm without knowing they were infectious at the time.
Anyone who dined at Sails during those times are urged to monitor their health for 14 days from those dates and see a doctor immediately if they develop any symptoms.
Mayor Tony Wellington said 20 of the people who tested positive after attending the 50th birthday party could have dispersed widely across the state by now.
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“Only four of those live on the Sunshine Coast, the rest have dispersed elsewhere into southeast Queensland,” he told The Courier Mail.
Sails Restaurant has been closed since 23 March 2020.
Further bans have been enforced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to restrict the movements of residents.
Mr Morrison has shut down dine-in restaurants, as well as banning weddings and any private parties to ensure social distancing.
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‘The time for parties has to stop now’
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the incident was a clear example of why social distancing is so important.
“The time for parties has to stop now. I want it to be a strong message for all age groups out there, you cannot do this,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
She told outsiders not to visit the state and threatened a $13,000 fine for people who break new self-isolation rules.
“I make no apologies for protecting Queenslanders’ health, full stop,” she said.
“I ask people to be patient but I also ask people if you do not need to come to Queensland, please do not come to Queensland.”
Camping grounds will also be closed from Thursday.
This measure hopes to restrict the number of gatherings as school holidays approach.
More venues closed from tonight
Pubs, clubs, cinemas, sporting venues, gyms, places of worship, auctions and open houses, beauty therapy and tattooists, amusement parks, libraries, galleries, museums, swimming pools and play centres are closed.
Hairdressers and barbers are limited to 30-minute appointments while all dining out options can serve takeaway and home deliveries only.
Weddings are limited to five people and funerals to 10.
The state government on Tuesday announced it was pouring $1.2 billion into the health system to ramp up its response to the virus and $2.5 billion to help households and the workforce.
Health Minister Steven Miles says Queensland has conducted one in four coronavirus tests in Australia, with more than 37,300 completed by Tuesday.