A Queensland woman has been jailed for allegedly refusing to enter home quarantine after visiting a Covid-19 exposure site as the state strives to eradicate the virus.
The woman, from Highvale in northwestern Brisbane, was identified on Tuesday as having contact with a positive case and was ordered to self-isolate as health authorities grapple with several Covid clusters in the southeastern state.
But Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the woman was placed in a prison cell after allegedly refusing “several times” to follow the public health order.
‘[She was] was then ordered to go to hotel quarantine, refused to go and was arrested and taken to the Sandgate guardhouse where she was released on bail and placed in hotel quarantine in the city,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Gollschewski warned that police “will continuously monitor compliance with people in home quarantine.”
Brisbane woman convicted of allegedly violating a home quarantine order (stock)
“There are consequences to that kind of behavior, so stick to it,” he said.
The harsh response comes as Queensland tries frantically to stick to its zero-covid approach as it comes close to suppressing the third multi-case Delta outbreak.
The state registered no new locally acquired cases on Wednesday — just nine days after the first case surfaced in a cluster involving employees of an airline company that grew to nine cases.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a remarkable achievement that the state appeared to stop the outbreak.
“So we have zero cases of intercourse, this is incredible,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Wednesday.
“This is a great effort by everyone in Queensland to do the right thing.”
As authorities fight to keep Covid out of their state, more than 14,517 vehicles were intercepted at the Queensland border on Tuesday, 123 of which were turned over.
A driver was fined on the spot in Goondiwindi for attempting to cross the state border from NSW, Mr Golleschewski said.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk has insisted she is still following the national Covid-19 plan after revealing she might not open state borders once vaccination rates reach 80 percent.
The prime minister said there was an ongoing risk of the Delta entering the state, so it is critical that people continue to get vaccinated.
Queensland registered no new locally acquired Covid cases on Wednesday after 12,829 people turned up for testing. Pictured: A health worker performs a Covid test in a pop-up clinic in August
She said immunization rates in parts of Brisbane are already above 70 percent, but she is particularly concerned about lagging vaccination rates in Ipswich, Beaudesert, Logan, the Sunshine Coast and central Queensland.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it won’t be long before the virus makes its way to Queensland.
“We will see the Delta variant come in and can’t be controlled, the only control will be the number of people who are vaccinated,” she said.
Queensland still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and rivals Western Australia to be the last state to achieve 80 percent coverage.
Palaszczuk creates even more uncertainty for people who cannot visit, or are visited by, friends and relatives, Ms Palaszczuk said the borders would not necessarily open when the 80 percent target was reached.
The prime minister said booster shots, protecting children and dealing with hospital capacity issues were all part of the national reopening plan.
She vehemently denied moving the goalposts or deviating from the national plan.
“That’s not right, no, don’t put words in my mouth, that’s not exactly what I said, although, I said very clearly, we are in phase A of the national plan, we are following that national plan,” the prime minister said. .
‘Part of that national plan is booster shots, so ask the Prime Minister about the plan for the booster shots, because that’s also in the plan.
The latest Delta outbreak in the state started nine days ago after employees of an airline company contracted the virus. Pictured: Brisbane Airport, which is listed as a Covid exposure site
“So, you know, don’t just pick parts of the national plan, if you don’t pick other parts of the national plan.”
She said the national cabinet was still waiting for more research and modeling from the Doherty Institute and would come back in the coming weeks.
The national cabinet, she said, should release all the work it does publicly for the sake of transparency.
“It would be great if that is released publicly so that the public can see it all, as well as the heads of state,” the prime minister said.
Ms Palaszczuk said her first priority was to lift vaccination coverage so that rates were equal in different geographic areas.
She said the target was 80 percent, but the ACT has already reached 93 percent, so 80 percent shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.
“To protect the people of Queensland, I would like to see as many Queensland residents as possible vaccinated, which would reduce our risks if and when we get those outbreaks,” she added.