Passengers on three flights coming into Newcastle from Brisbane tonight will be required to self-isolate at home or in their hotel room here in the Hunter over the weekend.

Those arriving at Newcastle Airport on the Virgin and two Jetstar flights from Brisbane over the next five hours must abide by Queensland’s new isolation rules as though they hadn’t left the city.

It follows Greater Brisbane’s 72-hour lockdown from 6pm tonight, which is in response to a cleaner testing positive to the UK strain of the virus, which is reported to be much more infectious.

This new mutation of the virus has also been detected in six returned travellers in NSW hotel quarantine.

“If you have visited Brisbane and you are on your way to NSW isolation rules will apply to you,” NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro said.

Newcastle Airport will also be welcoming five scheduled flights from Brisbane tomorrow and seven on Sunday.

Those passengers will also have to self-isolate until 6pm on Monday.

Queensland has flagged multiple covid hotspots, including the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan.

“If you are already in NSW and you have travelled to NSW from those locations since 12:01am on January 2, we expect you to stay isolated,” Mr Barilaro said.

Everyone is those locations, and those visiting NSW from those locations, will be required to stay at home except for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials, food and necessary supplies
  • Medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements
  • Exercise with no more than one other person, unless all from the same household
  • Providing care or assistance to an immediate family member
  • Work, or volunteering, or study if it is not reasonably practicable to work or learn remotely
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Legal obligations
  • Visit for end of life
  • Attend funeral or wedding in line with restrictions

“At no point during this pandemic have we ever had a knee jerk reaction or treated the border like a light switch,” Mr Barilaro said.

“If you are driving over the border that is not going to be some border closure but please try to document exactly travel itinerary so that if something occurs and we get in touch, you are able to accurately give us your itinerary to help us minimise any impacts going forward.”