Residents of greater Brisbane are facing the possibility of spending their second Easter in a row in lockdown, as two "concerning" clusters continue to grow.
Eight new Covid-19 cases were detected in the community as of today, and health authorities now believe the 15 locally acquired cases of recent weeks are related to two "distinct" clusters, both of which have originated from the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Brisbane is now dealing with two separate Covid-19 clusters after a doctor and a nurse at the same Brisbane hospital contracted the UK strain of the virus from different patients.
This morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would not rule out the possibility the lockdown could be extended, potentially through the Easter long weekend.
"In terms of the greater Brisbane region, we just have to take this day-by-day," she said.
"I said that we will give the most up-to-date information we can, every single morning. Do we expect to see more cases? Probably.
"The big question will be whether or not we see unlinked community transmission."
There are now fears new community cases in New South Wales could appear as two of the Brisbane Covid-19 cases visited Byron Bay over the weekend for a hens' trip.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she "would not be surprised" if new infections were detected in NSW.
Residents are being told to "brace" for new community cases in the coming days despite the state record no cases over night.
Chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly has declared greater Brisbane will be considered a hot spot by the Commonwealth.
Kelly said the variant involved in the Queensland outbreak is the UK "mutant" strain. As well, the "risk of transmission is proportionate to the change in circumstances and the Commonwealth has offered the Queensland Government support and assistance as is the case with a hot spot declaration".
Just 11 days ago, Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said the success of focused lockdowns in Brisbane meant there wouldn't be another city-wide shutdown for the city's residents.
"Absolutely, there's no need to go into lockdown when we've got responses like this," Young said, spruiking a more focused lockdown of Brisbane's hospitals, aged care homes, prisons and disability services instead.
"We've handled it beautifully, absolutely beautifully."
Less than a fortnight later, though, and the whole of greater Brisbane is on day one of a three-day circuit breaker, with residents once again told they can only leave home for the four essential reasons.
Across the state, face masks are mandatory and other restrictions are back in place, while the borders of Australia's other jurisdictions have quickly slammed shut.
After announcing the lockdown yesterday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk – who went from being "very comfortable" with the state's situation on Sunday to "very concerned" within the space of 24 hours – said, "I know it is a really big call, I know it is really tough."
"We have Easter coming up, we have school holidays coming up, but let's do it now and let's do it right, and let's see if we can come through it at the other end."
First cluster: Eight people, with two under investigation
• In early March three cases were linked to a Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor that contracted coronavirus from a patient. This is considered the first cluster.
• In the past few days five more cases have been linked to that first cluster.
• There are also two more cases under investigation that authorities believe may be also linked to the doctor.
Second cluster: Eight people
• The second cluster is linked to a Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse who is also believed to have contracted the virus from a different patient.
• That nurse then attended a hens' night in Byron Bay, NSW, and there are now seven confirmed cases in that cluster. Including the patient, who is a returned traveller, the second cluster stands at eight people.
• There is an additional infection that could be linked to either the first or second cluster.