As Queensland experienced it’s third lockdown of 2021 it’s becoming difficult not to acknowledge the remarkable coincidence that each one has taken place during every Queensland school holiday period so far this year.
The first lockdown of 2021 on the 8th January took place some 3 weeks after the start of the Christmas school holidays. It would be reasonable to assume that this was a result of increased travel across the state over the holiday period. The second lockdown though, started 4 days before the start of the Easter school holidays on the 2nd April, with restrictions across Queensland continuing up to almost the end of the holiday period.
On the 29th June, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked Queenslanders for wearing their masks and announced a third lockdown, just three days after the start of the mid-year school holidays, because of one high risk case.
Despite 18 months COVID management experience, “extra time needed to contact trace” was the justification for the announcement and as a result South-East Queensland, Townsville (including Magnetic Island) and Palm Island entered a three-day lockdown. Premier Palaszczuk used the opportunity to demand a massive reduction in overseas arrivals, and cited similar lockdowns in Western Australia, Sydney and Northern territories as further justification for action in Queensland.
The consequences for those in the meetings industry have rippled across the country and even into New Zealand, with yet more cancelled travel plans and events pushed back to later in the year.