Lockdown escapees warned of consequences


Brisbane residents have been given a stern warning not to flout lockdown laws and flee to other regions as authorities warn they are prepared to issue fines.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said while there was "no ring of steel" around Brisbane, police would be out in force ensuring people complied with lockdown rules.

"It's very important that our community understand that if they're planning to travel for events over the Easter weekend, even though we may not be in lockdown then, you cannot travel for that purpose in the lockdown period," he said.

"We're working with our community, we are doing intercepts, we're being very high visibility on the roads.

"People can expect to see that. We want to keep people safe on the roads as well so there will be plenty of police out and about and they can be expected to be intercepted at times".


‘It’s a day-by-day proposition’: Palaszczuk ‘can’t say’ when lockdown will end: Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has to refused to provide certainty over the length of her state’s three-day snap-lockdown. Queensland has recorded eight locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 with 78 active cases of the virus currently in the state’s hospitals. The premier also announced the existence of a further COVID cluster, with one now linked to the Princess Alexandra Hospital doctor and the new cluster linked to a hospital nurse. “In terms of the Greater Brisbane region, we just have to take this day by day,” she said at Tuesday’s press conference. When asked by a reporter whether it would be “wise to give people certainty” over the length of the lockdown, Ms Palaszczuk said “we can’t say that” until the next 24-48 hours of data has been analysed. “It's a day-by-day proposition but that is why this three-day lockdown is absolutely necessary.”


The warning of an increased police presence on roads came after a woman was charged for allegedly intentionally coughing and spitting on a police officer during the first hour of Brisbane's strict COVID lockdown.

The 38-year-old from Kalinga allegedly coughed on a 33-year-old senior constable during an arrest in Upper Roma St about 6pm yesterday.

Tour operators appear to be doing the right thing by denying accommodation to locked down residents.

Gold Coast City Council-run tourist parks are enforcing restrictions on Brisbane guests, requiring them to use separate toilet and shower facilities and wear masks in the grounds.

A Gold Coast City Council spokeswoman said tourist parks had not accepted any new Brisbane bookings during the lockdown period and those with existing reservations had been asked to re-book.

Coast parks had received about 30 cancellations so far, mainly from Greater Brisbane residents with bookings through until Good Friday.

"There has been a small number of cancellations for the Easter weekend at this stage," she said.

Accommodation Association of Australia CEO Dean Long said up to 20 per cent of Queensland holiday bookings had been cancelled.

Many were Victorians not prepared to face 14 days in quarantine on their return after Greater Brisbane was declared a hotspot by the Andrews Government.



But Mr Long said Queensland destinations including Cairns had also suffered cancellations from Brisbane residents and interstate tourists spooked by Queensland's latest COVID-19 crackdown.

"We've definitely seen Brisbane people cancel longer trips but many are holding onto Easter bookings for the Gold and Sunshine coasts in the hope the lockdown will end on schedule," he said.

Despite the lockdown some lucky Brisbane residents who escaped the river city for the Gold and Sunshine coasts before the lockdown are enjoying an early Easter break - of sorts.

Many headed for the coasts ahead of the snap lockdown, some before it was announced.

But they're being subjected to the same lockdown rules as those that apply at home, meaning limited time at the beach and no visits to theme parks or restaurants.


Retirees Trevor and Theresa Smeltzer, of Mansfield, managed to beat the lockdown by one day to have a Gold Coast getaway at the Burleigh Heads Tourist Park. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Retirees Trevor and Theresa Smeltzer, of Mansfield, managed to beat the lockdown by one day to have a Gold Coast getaway at the Burleigh Heads Tourist Park. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT


"It's a holiday, but it's probably a bit more muted than normal," said Mansfield retiree Trevor Smeltzer, who with wife Theresa checked into the Burleigh Heads Tourist Park on Sunday, a day before the lockdown was announced.

"We'd normally be going for long beach walks and out to restaurants and so on, but we're abiding by the lockdown restrictions and taking short walks for exercise and just grabbing a takeaway."


Originally published as Lockdown escapees warned of consequences