Police are ramping up checks on people in home quarantine in Queensland as border restrictions tighten amid the coronavirus cluster in New South Wales.
Interstate visitors and returning residents arriving from covid-19 hotspots in the southern state, including Greater Sydney, had to quarantine at home prior to Saturday.
Those rules have now changed with anyone crossing the border from a hotspot having to go into hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Since Saturday, officers have done 186 checks on people who should be quarantining at home in efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. Five people have been fined for breaching stay at home orders.
A couple from Sydney’s Northern Beaches have been fined $1334 for leaving their Gold Coast accommodation to go to a nearby beach. They’ve been sent back to New South Wales.
A 34-year-old who was meant to self-isolate at a Woree home, in Cairns, has been penalised the same amount after he was caught leaving the property. He is in quarantine in a hotel now.
A 20-year-old Redland Bay woman has been issued a $4,000 infringement for lying on her border declaration pass, and she is now in hotel quarantine.
Assistant Commissioner Shane Chelepy says while most people do the right thing, some blatantly disregard the rules.
“People quarantining at a private address need to take their obligations seriously and stay at home,” Assistant Commissioner Chelepy says.
“Those who are found to be flouting the rules and leaving their property could not only face a hefty fine, they are likely to be placed into hotel quarantine at their expense.”
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says quarantine is the best defence for keeping COVID-19 out of the state.
“It’s really disappointing to hear that people are not complying with their home quarantine notices,” she said.
“I know it’s an inconvenience, but it is absolutely vital.
“How would you feel if you ended up with COVID-19 and gave it to your grandmother?”