Australia

'Selfish' Victorian travellers stung trying to enter Queensland – twice

Six Victorian travellers have been fined $4000 each after trying to cross the Queensland border twice, as police warned against complacency amid penalties for nightclubs breaching public health directions on the weekend.

Police first intercepted a minivan carrying the group, ranging in age from 18 to 28, on Saturday night at the M1 checkpoint on the Gold Coast, denying them entry to the state.

The group then tried to enter again in Coolangatta on Sunday, when police allege false declarations were made that they had not been in Victoria in the previous 14 days.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the group – some of whom allegedly tried to flee from the van on foot – showed a "completely selfish response" to the restrictions.

The ABC reported that the group allegedly told officers they had been working in NSW for three weeks, with one of the six from that state and another from Queensland.

A total of 486,000 border declarations have been issued since they came into effect on July 3, Mr Gollschewski told reporters on Monday. More than 500 vehicles have been refused entry.

At the state's airports, nine people have been refused entry out of 10,700 arrivals. A total of 307 people – most of whom had been in Victoria recently – have been directed into quarantine since Friday.

Mr Gollschewski said police were using their border checks to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak in NSW.

He also said social distancing was of paramount importance, as the border measures would not keep "100 per cent" of cases out of the state.

"This is a long way from being over," he said.

Mr Gollschewski said police had now issued three nightclubs with $6600 fines for breaches last weekend, with one other club under investigation for breaches in the past few days.

He also warned that individuals doing the wrong thing while lining up outside nightclubs, or taking to dance floors, could face fines themselves under changes to enforcement – at the direction of Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young – if behaviour did not improve.

"It's as much your responsibility as the operator," he told reporters on Monday. "People need to do the right thing."

Mr Gollschewski said a number of people had been escorted out of venues for taking to dance floors, which has been outlawed under health directions.

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"If you want to dance, do it at home," he said.

In a statement late on Monday, Dr Young warned that people giving fake names or phone numbers to venues – which are required to record and keep the details in case any COVID-19 infections are linked to them – also faced $1334 fines.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed one new case in the Sunshine State on Monday – a Sunshine Coast woman in her 30s who had recently returned from overseas.

The woman, who is now in hotel quarantine, takes the state's total to 1071, with four of those cases still active.

Health authorities in the state have issued a public health alert for anyone who attended the popular Crossroads Hotel in south-western Sydney between July 3-10 to self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test.

On Monday, a COVID-positive person who visited the Star Casino in Sydney's Pyrmont was revealed as the 21st case linked to that cluster, which emerged after NSW shut its border with Victoria following a large outbreak in Melbourne.

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