11 April 20
From 7 News: Queenslanders have flocked to the sand on Good Friday, with many seemingly unconcerned about following social distancing rules too closely.
Images taken at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast show a busy coastline and lots of people in the surf, despite people being encouraged to stay at home over the Easter weekend.
Police patrolled the beaches, moving on people who were flouting social distancing rules and gathering in large groups.
Health Minister Steven Miles said he was pleased many Queenslanders had heeded requests to stay home over Easter to prevent the further spread of the virus, but not everyone heeded the warning.
The Gold Coast council has closed beaches at the Spit, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, as well as all beachside carparks to deter beachgoers and stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Over the Easter weekend, police will also clamp down on boaties, who are allowed on the water only for essential travel or to catch fish for food.
No more than two people, or only immediate family members, are allowed on a boat.
Mr Miles reminded people considering travelling interstate over the break that they will have to quarantine for 14-days on return to Queensland.
“If you are thinking of travelling, I would urge you to check the areas but more importantly, I would urge you not to travel in the first place. This is not the weekend for going away,” he said.
Queensland restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus are starting to pay off with just 13 new cases diagnosed overnight. That brings the seven-day total to 93 new cases, down from a high of 380 two weeks ago.
“The trend continues to be much lower than that rate that we saw through late March,” Mr Miles said on Friday. “It means that all of our efforts, all of the sacrifices we are all making are working and they’re helping keep our communities safe.”
There are now 965 people suffering from COVID-19 in Queensland, with a current growth rate of 1.5 per cent per week. There are 897 people in enforced quarantine across the state.
Police have issued 289 fines for breaches of the public health emergency orders since the coronavirus crisis started.
“They are very substantial fines, starting at just over $1300 on-the-spot fines,” he said.
“There are nearly 300 people regretting, I suspect, their decision to breach those orders.”
Earlier, Queensland police said they will clamp down on people who ignore directions not to travel over the Easter long weekend.
The new 14-day isolation period for Queenslanders, which come into force at midnight on Friday, means those returning to the state will require a pass and exemptions to strict coronavirus regulations to get home.
Police will make themselves more visible and monitor traffic throughout the state to clamp down on people who ignore directions not to travel over the long weekend.
- AUTHOR: PIP CHRISTMASS