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9 August, 2021

Taxi and Reef Pilot cases linked.

Health authorities have confirmed both recent COVID-19 cases in Cairns are linked.

By Peter McCullagh

Restrictions for lockdown - Cairns and Yarrabah

  • The Cairns and Yarrabah Local Government Areas (LGAs) will be placed into lockdown until 4pm Wednesday 11 August.
  • You can only leave your home to obtain essential goods or services including healthcare
  • You can exercise with a 10km radius of your home with one other person, or members of your household
  • You may attend essential work or volunteering – if you can work from home, you should work from home
  • You can attend school or childcare - school and childcare is only open for children of essential workers or vulnerable children
  • If you need to provide assistance, care or support to a vulnerable person or family member or visit a terminally ill relative
  • You can leave home get a COVID-19 test or vaccination
  • Or in an emergency situation
  • You are permitted to leave home for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm, including domestic violence)
  • You must wear a face mask when leaving your home, if you cannot wear a face mask please do not leave your residence.

Cairns and Yarrabah was locked down at 4om Sunday after confirmation that an unvaccinated taxi driver aged in his 60s tested positive for COVID.

The 3-day snap lockdown will last until Wednesday 4pm.

Genome sequencing has confirmed a link between the reef pilot who tested positive last week and this recent positive taxi driver case.

Health authorities are now reviewing all close contacts and exposure sites for both COVID cases, with additional close contact sites added to the contact sites list overnight.

The taxi driver has been transferred to Brisbane for treatment.

Yesterday more than 970 people presented for testing in Queensland Health testing centres in Cairns.

In scene reminiscent of a cyclone alert, panicked shoppers packed local supermarkets, stripping clean shelves and creating wait times for checkouts approaching 1 hour.


Schools in both Cairns and Yarrabah remain closed today, except for essential workers and vulnerable children.

Residents are reminded for the next 3 days the only valid reason to leave home is to collect essential goods (within 10km), exercise, essential work, assisting vulnerable people and obtaining a COVID test or vaccination.

The wearing of masks in public is now mandatory. 

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