MAN AT COVID RISK ‘WAVED THROUGH’

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - EMILY HALLORAN emily.halloran@news.com.au

A GOLD Coast res­i­dent who spent six weeks in a Syd­ney area where sev­eral peo­ple con­tracted coro­n­avirus said he was able to cross the Queens­land bor­der twice de­spite iden­ti­fy­ing he was at risk.

The man, who wished to re­main anony­mous, ad­mits he “broke the law” by cross­ing the bor­der at Tu­gun. He said he reg­is­tered for a Queens­land Bor­der Pass and printed off the let­ter ‘R’ af­ter an­swer­ing yes to the ques­tion ‘have you been in a hotspot?’’

“I had it printed and put it on the dash and when I got to (the Tu­gun bor­der about three weeks ago), I got waved straight through,’’ he said.

The man had trav­elled to Syd­ney to help his mate on a project af­ter los­ing his job on the Gold Coast 10 weeks ago.

Af­ter re­turn­ing home he said he was “do­ing the right thing as far as self-quar­an­tine goes”. He also trav­elled to North Coast NSW to pick up a rel­a­tive.

A GOLD Coast res­i­dent ad­mits he “broke the law” by cross­ing the Queens­land bor­der twice af­ter vis­it­ing a coro­n­avirus hotspot in NSW.

The man, who wishes to re­main anony­mous, said he passed over the bor­der at Tu­gun three weeks ago af­ter spend­ing six weeks in a coro­n­avirus hotspot in Ryde, Syd­ney.

He has ques­tioned Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk who made the de­ci­sion this week to keep the bor­der closed in­def­i­nitely.

As of mid­night on Fri­day, April 3, bor­der re­stric­tions were in place stop­ping any­one who is not a Queens­land res­i­dent or con­sid­ered ex­empt from the re­stric­tions from en­ter­ing the state.

If you had vis­ited a hotspot in Aus­tralia, you were re­quired to self-quar­an­tine af­ter cross­ing Queens­land bor­ders.

Af­ter the man lost his job on the Gold Coast 10 weeks ago, he trav­elled to Syd­ney to help a mate with a project.

He spent six weeks in the area where sev­eral peo­ple con­tracted coro­n­avirus.

But des­per­ate to re­turn home, he reg­is­tered for a Queens­land Bor­der Pass and set off on his jour­ney.

“I reg­is­tered about a week prior to com­ing back (to the Gold Coast). This was about three weeks ago,” he told the Bul­letin.

“When I went on­line (to reg­is­ter). The ques­tions asked ‘have you been in a hotspot?’

“From where I had been, I said yes. Ev­ery­one has the let­ter ‘A’ on their wind­screen. When I printed it off, I had the let­ter ‘R’.

“I had it printed and put it on the dash and when I got to (the Tu­gun bor­der about three weeks ago), I got waved straight through. I ba­si­cally just drove straight through.”

The man says he wasn’t ques­tioned, stopped or fined when pass­ing the bor­der at Tu­gun.

Days later, the man said he started to feel sick and went to a Gold Coast hos­pi­tal and was tested for coro­n­avirus.

But in the midst of await­ing for re­sults, he trav­elled to North Coast NSW to pick up a rel­a­tive be­fore re­turn­ing to Queens­land.

“The next day I got neg­a­tive (re­sults back), but that’s not the point.

“Why do they have the bor­der closed for if this is hap­pen­ing”

“The bor­der clo­sure doesn’t seem to make much sense.”

Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk de­clined to an­swer the Bul­letin’s ques­tions say­ing it was a po­lice mat­ter.

A Queens­land Po­lice spokesman said they had stopped 190,000 cars at the state bor­der, with those found to be flout­ing the laws is­sued $1334 fines.

“While some re­stric­tions are eas­ing in Queens­land, bor­der re­stric­tions have not and any­one cross­ing the bor­der re­quires a valid Queens­land En­try Pass,” he said.

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