Covid Australia: Five Victorians caught illegally fleeing and trying to cross the Queensland border 

Five Victorians have been caught illegally fleeing the locked down state while attempting to cross the Queensland border.

Deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski on Friday revealed five new people tried to illegally enter the Sunshine State.

‘That has been a combination of people not getting border passes, but also in some instances, people putting false declarations on their border passes,’ Mr Gollschewski said.

Two people were each slapped with $4003 fines after crossing the Goondiwindi border.

‘On top of that, we have had another male person who has come into Dalby via the Coolangatta border who has also been fined for having an untrue declaration on their border pass,’ Mr Gollschewski said.

It comes after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk took a swipe at the Melbourne couple who arrived while infected with coronavirus, telling them they should never have left home.

Ms Palaszczuk says there have been no cases of community transmission so far but also warned Queensland is not yet out of the woods.

‘Thankfully today zero new cases. We would have expected to see a couple of community cases from that couple if it was going to be in the community,’ she told reporters on Friday.

‘The next 24 to 48 hours – we’ll be monitoring that very closely.’

Police are investigating the couple’s decision to leave Melbourne during a lockdown and drive through NSW to Queensland.

‘Everyone needs to do the right thing. There was a lockdown on … they shouldn’t have left Victoria. It just puts people at risk,’ the premier said.

Friday’s figures showed Queensland had no new coronavirus cases either in the community or in hotel quarantine, with almost 6000 tests carried out in the past 24 hours and more than 11,000 vaccinations given.

A temporary, walk-in vaccination hub at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium will open its doors this weekend in response to the threat.

The couple stayed with the woman’s parents in Caloundra and visited sites on the Sunshine Coast before they tested positive. They also stopped at sites in Goondiwindi and Toowoomba.

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamison says the community is outraged by the couple’s ‘foolish’ actions.

‘People are obviously angry and annoyed that somebody would put the health of this region and others at risk by foolishly taking that trip from Melbourne,’ he has told the Nine network.

‘Clearly it’s had an impact on the business community in and around Caloundra, particularly at the exposure sites.’

Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg says there appears to have been a flagrant breach of Covid-19 hotspot protocols, and his community has been put at risk as a result of that.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has expressed some optimism that community transmission might be avoided in Queensland, because the couple were in the late stages of their infections when they entered the state.

Victorian authorities have revealed the couple left the state on June 1, when greater Melbourne was in a snap lockdown to control community transmission.

They were relocating permanently to Queensland so the husband could take up a new job.

Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino has said the couple did not breach any state restrictions by leaving, and moving interstate is allowed during lockdowns.

But Dr Young has said the couple didn’t apply for a travel exemption to enter Queensland and it’s up to police to investigate whether they came through under any other process. 


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