The Queensland government has ordered that masks must be worn in Brisbane and its surrounding areas for three days, from today until Monday.
Greater Brisbane will go into lockdown over the period, the state's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced.
The tougher measures come after a cleaner for a Queensland quarantine hotel tested positive for the UK variant of coronavirus. The variant is much more infectious than previous versions of the virus.
"We are going to go early and go hard," Ms Palaszczuk said.
The lockdown will start at 6pm on Friday and last until Monday evening.
All residents living in a string of council districts in the Greater Brisbane area will have to stay at home.
"Think of it as a long weekend at home," the premier said.
She said that the advice from the state's chief medical officer was that three days of lockdown could prevent a 30-day lockdown.
Residents in the locked-down areas could leave their homes to do essential work, to provide healthcare, for essential shopping or for exercise near home.
Masks were also made compulsory in the locked-down areas.
"These are tough, strong measures, like I said this is incredibly infectious," the Premier said.
For faster access to the latest Canberra news, download The Canberra Times app for iOS and Android.