Queensland police have handed out 500 fines and turned away more than 900 motorists at the state’s borders this Easter weekend as officers crack down on social distancing rules.
Among those fined were a group of people in Port Douglas, slugged for sitting in a park and having a drink.
One of the more bizarre fines was issued to a man who went on a Tinder date.
“You are allowed to go visit close friends and relatives but I don’t think a Tinder date comes within that definition,” Queensland Police Deputy Chief Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
And a wealthy businessman was caught – twice – for taking a helicopter to Moreton Island to have a picnic.
Deputy Chief Commissioner Gollschewski said police were taking a common sense approach to the fines, and the first step was to give people a warning if they broke the rules.
“We still have occasions where people get confused and don’t understand what they’re supposed to do. We will give them cautions and warnings and work through with them educating them,” he said.
More than 12,000 cars have been intercepted at Queensland’s road borders this weekend.
Just over 900 of those cars were refused entry into Queensland while 574 quarantine notices were handed out, Deputy Chief Commissioner Gollschewski said.
Of the 1200 people who flew into Queensland’s domestic airport, 250 were put in quarantine and three refused entry.
The state’s premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and police say they are happy with Queenslanders, especially over the long weekend.
Police were out in force, but on the whole, people were doing the right thing.
The state recorded nine new cases of coronavirus on Easter Sunday. Queensland has a total of 983 COVID-19 cases.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has described the $800,000 in fines handed out by Queensland police over the weekend at “over the top”.
The tickets for breaches of coronavirus restrictions included people at outdoor parties, beach picnics and even one man caught driving from Cairns to Port Douglas on a Tinder date.
“It is over the top. How ridiculous. People were going to have a picnic. You can’t sit on the grass or a park bench,” Senator Hanson told Today.
“Okay, if you are going to spread germs and that type of thing, but you can’t sit on the grass and have a picnic with your kids, can’t go to the beach, can’t go for a walk. I think it is completely over the top. It is ridiculous.”
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