The Courier-Mail

COVID BEACH

ALERT AS COPS SWOOP ON HOTSPOT TEENS

- THOMAS CHAMBERLIN JES­SICA MARSZALEK CHRIS CLARKE Crime · Incidents · Queensland · Sydney · Shire of Noosa · Brisbane · Sunshine Coast · New South Wales · Gold Coast

BOR­DER check­points at train sta­tions will come un­der the mi­cro­scope af­ter two teenage girls al­legedly breached Queens­land’s health di­rec­tives and trav­elled from COVID-19 hotspot Syd­ney with­out quar­an­tin­ing.

Ex­tra­or­di­nary scenes un­folded at a Noosa shop­ping cen­tre on Mon­day when po­lice swooped on the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, and put masks on them be­fore shut­ting down some stores.

Po­lice su­per­in­ten­dent Craig Hawkins said the two girls, who can­not be legally named be­cause they are un­der­age, ar­rived in Bris­bane by train on Fri­day be­fore the state’s bor­ders closed and made their way to the Sun­shine Coast.

It is un­der­stood that they were with­out adult su­per­vi­sion when they ar­rived in a train at Bris­bane Transit Cen­tre from Syd­ney, which is a coro­n­avirus hotspot.

“They weren’t com­pletely hon­est with where they had been,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Hawkins said. “But later on we dis­cov­ered that they had come from a hotspot.”

It’s un­clear how po­lice made the re­al­i­sa­tion the girls had been in Syd­ney and tracked them to Noosa.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Mark Ryan said that he would talk to the po­lice com­mis­sioner about bor­der check­points at train sta­tions af­ter the teens were able to cir­cum­vent re­stric­tions.

“We are con­stantly look­ing at how we are pos­tur­ing across the state, whether it’s sea­ports or road ports, through transit cor­ri­dors,” Mr Ryan said.

Some shops at the Noosa Civic Shop­ping Cen­tre were closed on Mon­day as a pre­cau­tion.

One girl was from the Sun­shine Coast and the other from NSW, Su­per­in­ten­dent Hawkins said.

“I stress that there is no in­for­ma­tion to sug­gest that they are car­ri­ers of the disease, how­ever in the in­ter­ests of safety and cer­tainly be­cause they have come from a hotspot we were keen to en­sure that they have un­der­taken the right test­ing to en­sure that Queens­land doesn’t find it­self in a sit­u­a­tion where it might be con­tam­i­nated,” he said.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Hawkins said it was likely the girls would be placed in quar­an­tine, but could not con­firm if they would be charged. They were tested on Mon­day.

“Two young girls got stopped out­side the shop and told to sit on the floor,” one wit­ness said. “Po­lice gave them masks and shut all the doors of the shops, we’re all locked in.”

Po­lice of­fi­cers are sta­tioned at all ports and bor­ders – in­clud­ing train sta­tions – as part of COVID-19 mea­sures and ask trav­ellers about where they have been.

Mr Ryan said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances of the girls’ ar­rival into Queens­land.

More than 250 peo­ple were turned back at Gold Coast bor­der check­points on Sun­day and Mon­day.

 ??  ??
 ?? Pic­ture: Nine News ?? Po­lice keep watch on two teenage girls ap­pre­hended at Noosa Civic Shop­ping Cen­tre over pos­si­ble COVID-19 breaches.
Pic­ture: Nine News Po­lice keep watch on two teenage girls ap­pre­hended at Noosa Civic Shop­ping Cen­tre over pos­si­ble COVID-19 breaches.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia