Queensland has moved to clamp down on interstate coronavirus infections by closing its borders to two Sydney regions.
Health Minister Steven Miles told reporters on Tuesday morning Campbelltown City and Liverpool City council areas, in Sydney’s southwest, are now considered hotspot areas. The two councils take in 77 suburbs in Sydney’s southwest.
Mr Miles said the Queensland Government made this determination due to the outbreak of coronavirus at Casula’s Crossroads Hotel over the weekend.
He said 18 Queenslanders visited that hotel and are being tested. Their results are not back yet.
The state’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young added anyone who arrives from those hotspots in Queensland will be placed in mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days from midday Tuesday.
“This is important because we are seeing continued cases confirmed who attended that hotel and we've seen subsequent infections in families and other groups from people who have come into contact with people who went to that hotel,” Dr Young said.
Dr Young added the quarantine still includes people from Victoria.
Mr Miles said public health laws are also being strengthened and believes people aren’t being deterred by the $4000 penalty.
Queensland proposes to jail border offenders
Six Victorians were fined a total for $24,000 after they lied on their border declaration forms and tried entering Queensland on Saturday.
“Perhaps people from other states think they might get away without having to pay for it,” Mr Miles said.
“Perhaps people think that $4,000 is worth it to come to Queensland, worth the risk. So this week we will move amendments that will allow us to apply a penalty of imprisonment for breaches of those health directions.”
Mr Miles said people will now face six months’ imprisonment for breaching border control laws.
“I hope that that will demonstrate to the public just how serious we are about enforcing these measures, just how serious it is that everyone complies with them, and just how serious the penalty might be if they fail to do so,” he said.
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