'You will be found': Melbourne border-hoppers put on notice

·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

The Queensland Minister for Health has hit out at Victorians illegally travelling into the state in breach of Covid restrictions

Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Yvette D'Ath said police were aware of Victorians driving across the border without permission, warning people who did so would be found. 

It comes as police continue an investigation into a Melbourne couple who left lockdown and drove through NSW before testing positive for Covid-19 on the Sunshine Coast this week.

"I've been advised this morning by the Deputy Commissioner that there are other people coming across our border from Victoria who are driving up through NSW, crossing our border from Victoria and who do not have the exemptions or travel declarations to do so," Ms D'Ath said.

"We will be making sure that you are found. This is an offence. You cannot come into this state if you are from a hotspot and put our state at risk."

Queensland Police carrying out border checks on cars entering the state. Source: Getty
Queensland is warning Melburnians not to flout its border controls. Source: Getty

Police continue to do random border checks, but are also relying on tip-offs to catch border-hoppers.

“These people who think that they can avoid our border controls by jumping in their car and coming across, there is every chance that you will be found out. Either someone will be picking up the phone and telling us, or the police will be doing intercepts and finding you," Ms D'Ath said.

Since 1am on Friday June 11, regional Victoria is no longer deemed a Covid hotspot by Queensland. However the greater Melbourne area remains a hotspot, meaning anyone from the city must obtain approval to travel to the state.

"Anyone who has been in Greater Melbourne in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Queensland, except for a limited range of people who can enter for essential purposes," the government's website says.

Police say they have recently fined five people in the state for crossing the border without authorisation. Since May 28, when Victoria went into lockdown, Queensland police have intercepted 3,343 vehicles randomly based on drivers coming through checkpoints. 

Fines can be as much as $4,000. 

Queensland recorded no new local cases of Covid-19 on Friday with concerns subsiding about community transition stemming from the couple's road trip

Investigation into Melbourne couple ongoing

The state's Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said authorities have not yet interviewed the couple who tested positive this week in relation to potential offences yet, but expected to do so.

"We will put our allegations, or any allegations we have, to those people and allow them to have a response before we take further action. So that investigation remains ongoing," he said. 

"We have not yet interviewed them in terms of any offences and we do not plan to do so until we are advised by Health it is safe to do so."

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