Brisbane became a ghost town on Saturday as residents abided by stay-indoors orders to help quell the spread of a mutant coronavirus strain.

Greater Brisbane has entered a three-day lockdown following the discovery a highly contagious UK COVID-19 strain which had leaked from hotel quarantine.

Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall was empty on Saturday. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar
Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall was empty on Saturday. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar

 

Empty Streets of Brisbane, Margaret St, George St intersection. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar
Empty Streets of Brisbane, Margaret St, George St intersection. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar

While Queensland's capital is often derided for its sleepy nature, its streets were more empty than usual on Saturday morning.

"As I drove in this morning, every single person I saw was wearing a mask, which is fantastic," Queensland's chief health officer Jeanette Young said.

"For the next three days, this is really important that everyone throughout those five LGAs (Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan) wears a mask."

A man wears a face mask on a morning walk in Greenslopes during the first day of COVID-19 lockdown in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
A man wears a face mask on a morning walk in Greenslopes during the first day of COVID-19 lockdown in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

The Queens Street Mall was empty as shops closed and residents stayed indoors, and those stores which were open were deserted.

Under the orders, people can only go outdoors for essential work, grocery shopping, medical appointments and to exercise in their local area.

Lifeguards secure an empty Southbank beach. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Lifeguards secure an empty Southbank beach. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

Brisbane’s South Bank was empty on Saturday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Brisbane’s South Bank was empty on Saturday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

A stone's throw across the Brisbane River, the usually bustling South Bank precinct was almost entirely deserted.

While ugly pictures of panic buying emerged from Brisbane following the announcement of the hard lockdown on Friday, a sleepy serenity descended on the city on Saturday morning with roads also empty.

An empty M3 freeway, seen from Tarragindi, on the first day of Brisbane’s lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled.
An empty M3 freeway, seen from Tarragindi, on the first day of Brisbane’s lockdown. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled.

 

Brisbane’s roads were empty on Saturday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Brisbane’s roads were empty on Saturday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

 

People wear face masks on a morning walk around Greenslopes. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled.
People wear face masks on a morning walk around Greenslopes. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled.

The government has not ruled out extended the lockdown beyond 6pm Monday, with Dr Young saying the situation was being assessed day by day.

This is despite the state encouragingly recording zero cases of local transmission on Saturday.

"Anything is a possibility, but I won't say how likely any scenario is," Dr Young said.

"This virus, we really don't - even the usual variants - fully understand it.

"We've seen that at the moment down in Sydney with some very lengthy periods and then another case pop up, so we just have to take each day and get the best information we can."

Originally published as Eerie scenes inside Brisbane lockdown


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