'Dob them in' plea as 1100 tourists defy lockdown
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared an end to fun, with more severe border restrictions banning holiday-makers, people encouraged to dob on neighbourhood parties and police to patrol beaches where people are gathering.
Tougher border restrictions from Friday will mean everyone but those with permits will be banned from crossing state lines after more than 1100 holiday makers turned up at the border in the past week and had to be ordered into self-quarantine.
"You know what, and I hate to say this, now is not the time for fun," Ms Palaszczuk said as the state's COVID-19 cases grew by another 33 to 689, including seven in intensive care and five on ventilators.
"There's no use in six months' time looking back in retrospect saying, 'how come we lost a loved one in our family? Oh that's right, because all these people went and had parties'."
The Premier's plea to stay at home came as Queensland's top cop said her officers stood ready to enforce a national, one-month ban on gatherings of more than two people, a banning of house parties and the closure of playgrounds and skate parks.
It followed a weekend in which police were called to an incredible 900 noisy, house parties held because clubs and pubs are now closed - although many of them had limited guests to 10 people under previous rules for social gatherings.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD
Under new and harsher restrictions brought in to "flatten the curve" of infection, people who live alone will be the only people able to invite over one friend.
Others who live in family groups or in share houses can only invite one person over if they are a relative, someone they are doing business with (including a cleaner or tradie) or a healthcare professional.
Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland was not in the position of the United States and Italy.
"But let me make it very clear, if we don't do this and we don't flatten the curve, our hospital staff are going to be stretched to the limit," she said.
"So this is about us doing something that is going to save a life … This long, hard six months means that if we all do this, we'll come out the other end and I don't want … those scenes happening in other countries to be happening here."
Yet despite the new restrictions, people continued to flock to Gold Coast beaches on Monday in incredible scenes that put them at risk of $1300 fines.
Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young said if people continued to flout the rules, the Government would close the beaches.
"As of midnight last night, you cannot have gatherings of more than two people anywhere, except for their immediate family who normally live in that household," she said.
"Police will be out there and if people don't adhere, they'll just close the beaches."
She also warned against people reportedly still using dating apps to meet up for casual sex.
Commissioner Carroll said people could call Queensland Health or Policelink to dob in people they knew to be breaking rules and putting others at risk, with more than 200 complaints recorded in the past week.
She said police would be compassionate and caution people, but if people were blatantly flouting the rules, they would be fined.
"If we get called to a noisy party and there's 10 people at that party that shouldn't be there, they can expect to be ticketed. It is $1334," she said.
"Not only those who are attending but also obviously those who own the house.
"This is a very significant time, we have been given extraordinary powers for the safety of the community."
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk said the Government was working on a long-term plan for schools to be able to continue to care for the children of essential workers.
"I think that's critical and we're paying a lot of attention to that," she said.
Originally published as Fun police: Call to dob in parties, public gatherings