Coronavirus restrictions in Queensland could be beefed up again after hundreds of people appeared to break social distancing rules at a popular park.
Police are continuing to collate numbers of people who flocked to the Gold Coast’s Burleigh Hill on Sunday, where people were sitting in groups in clear defiance of the 1.5 metre rule.
Police were called in and asked people who were ignoring the arms-length guidelines to move on.
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Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll labelled the act a “blatant and reckless disregard for the directives”.
“What happened at Burleigh Heads last night probably ruined what was a spectacular weekend,” she said.
The move has been dubbed Queensland’s ‘Bondi moment’, with comparisons to large crowds on Sydney’s iconic beach which led to authorities closing the sands.
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In two separate incidents at a Carrara AirBnB on the Gold Coast, police also handed out 25 fines to the amount of $33,350 for not one but two noisy house parties.
“At Carrara on Friday night police attended an AirBnB on the Gold Coast and located a group of people in their twenties,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“Some seven were issued with notices for obviously gathering and having a party in that place.”Disappointingly police were again called to the same residence in the early hours of Sunday … in response to a noise complaint.
“Officers located a larger group this time including five of the previous evening that had been fined and a further 18 infringement notices were issued at that place.
“Ten people were also issued fines for a noisy house party in Banyo, north of Brisbane.
Public holiday to test Queenslanders
Until the Burleigh incident, authorities had praised the public for doing the right thing since lockdown measures were relaxed with just 35 fines issues across the state on Saturday.
Residents are being reminded to not enter a park or beach if it is packed.
Queensland will face another big test of social distancing rules during today’s public holiday.
The state government warned tougher restrictions may be reintroduced if social distancing rules are breached after it eased some measures.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll believes the large crowds in clear defiance of social distancing rules at Burleigh Hill could put the state’s newly-relaxed lockdown measures at risk.
“Please don’t do that again this afternoon, there will be more police out,” Commissioner Carroll told Today.
“We are asking people to stay apart,” she said.
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