COVID-19 cases keep rising in Cairns

THE amount of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the Far North has risen to 22.

There has been one case of novel coronavirus identified in Cairns in the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures released by Queensland Health.

There have been 33 cases of the fast-spreading virus confirmed today across the state, taking Queensland's overall tally to 689.

Cairns remains the biggest hotspot for the pandemic outside of the state's southeast.

The majority of cases are from patients who have travelled overseas, or have had direct contact with a confirmed case who had travelled overseas.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland's border restrictions will be toughened from Friday.

"We are still seeing a lot of people coming across our borders and it's got to stop," she said.

"Stay in your state, stay in your suburb, and stay safe."

It comes as the nation's death toll rose to 18 today after two women, aged in their 80s, died in Tasmania and the ACT.

Yesterday, Queensland recorded its third death after a Ruby Princess cruise ship passenger died at Caboolture Hospital.

Her sister, Far North woman Yvonne Cunningham, has hit out at a lack of infection control regarding the cruise passengers.

Meanwhile, police have been conducting "around the clock" compliance checks on Queenslanders who have been ordered to self-quarantine.

Individuals who fail to follow social distancing and health guidelines can be fined $1334.50 on the spot, while businesses face $6672.50 fines.

Police have the power to issue fines if more than 10 people are in a home, unless they all live there, after new restrictions announced by Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.

Originally published as COVID-19 cases keep rising in Cairns