Across the country, Covid numbers continue to rise in the lead up to the silly season, with one state making a bold first move towards fresh restrictions.
On Thursday morning, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared the state was entering a new Covid wave, and raised the state’s emergency alert status to amber.
Across Australia, there have been 37,097 cases of Covid in the last week – an average of around 5,300 per day.
And with experts warning the numbers will only get worse, Aussies everywhere are on tenterhooks about what this might mean for other states as we approach Christmas and New Years.
In South Australia, cases grew by nearly a thousand last week, and Victoria saw another 20 per cent rise.
Western Australia followed the same trend, growing by over a thousand cases in the same time period.
In a week, hospitalisations from the virus doubled across Queensland, and NSW is dealing with nearly two and a half thousand more cases than it had the week before.
Queensland’s response now has the rest of the nation wondering, will restrictions be back in place over the holidays?
The short answer is no, according to UniSA epidemiologist, Professor Adrian Esterman.
“Queensland doesn’t actually have mandates in place with this update,” Professor Esterman told NCA NewsWire.
“Much like South Australia, where masks on public transport are advised, but not mandated.
“Most states and territories will be very reluctant to reintroduce mandates.”
He said the rise in case numbers coincides with the removal of isolation requirements for people who actually test positive, allowing superspreader events to take place all over the country.
“It was plain stupidity removing mandatory isolation for positive patients,” he said.
Professor Esterman isn’t alone in thinking it will take a lot more for states to bring back restrictions, as Queensland’s chief health officer Dr John Gerrard also said it was unlikely this next wave would trigger a “red” emergency alert response.
“I cannot see a circumstance under which we would do anything, having any additional mandates, between now and Christmas,” Dr Gerrard said.
“I think it’s unlikely, I think, most of the modelling now has become very different because of the number of variables involved.”
“We hope it will be a short, sharp wave.”
Although restrictions are unlikely to make a comeback, health advice across the country is staying pretty consistent.
People who have had the virus in the past seven days are advised to wear masks, as are those who enter health care settings or public transportation.