Police to interview infected Melbourne couple about road trip

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An infected Melbourne couple who left a trail of chaos through NSW and Queensland after breaking lockdown could face harsh sentences.

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The couple who brought Covid-19 to Queensland after escaping the Melbourne lockdown face charges in three states.

The couple who brought Covid-19 to Queensland after escaping the Melbourne lockdown face charges in three states.

Police will interview the Melbourne couple who caused chaos after a 2000km road trip while contagious with Covid. Image: NCA NewsWire/David GeraghtySource: News Corp Australia

A Melbourne couple who left lockdown and traveled through NSW and Queensland before being diagnosed with Covid-19 could face punishment from three states, including jail time.

Queensland is now dealing with two interstate-acquired coronavirus cases after a 44-year-old woman and her husband left Victoria unwittingly infected and set out on a road trip to the Sunshine Coast.

The couple left Victoria on June 1, four days after a nationwide lockdown went into effect, and traveled through regional NSW and Queensland before the woman tested positive for Covid-9 in Caloundra on June 8.

Queensland health authorities confirmed yesterday that her husband had also tested positive for the virus. They are both isolated at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

The news came shortly after Victorian authorities revealed four new Covid-19 infections had been recorded.

The cases came from the same household, but the source of the infections is not yet known.

RELATED: The state’s new rule for travelers in Queensland, NSW

Health personnel conduct Covid-19 testing at a Brisbane drive-through station.  Image: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

Health personnel conduct Covid-19 testing at a Brisbane drive-through station. Image: NCA NewsWire/Dan PeledSource: News Corp Australia

According to thecourier post, police are waiting until it is deemed safe to interview the Melbourne couple about their movements.

Yesterday, Victoria’s acting Prime Minister James Merlino said health officials were conducting interviews with the couple and signaling the possibility that they might be moving, meaning they would not have broken lockdown rules.

Though authorities are yet to determine if the couple has broken border rules across NSW or Queensland.

dr. Queensland health officer Jeannette Young revealed yesterday that the couple had no exemption from entering the state, and questions were also raised as to why they did not go through a mandatory two-week quarantine period at the hotel upon entry.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said on Thursday there was a « range of penalties » for people violating border rules for travel.

In Queensland, violating border requirements can result in a fine of $4003, a court-imposed fine of up to $13,345 or six months in prison.

RELATED: Truth About Covid Couple Driving To Queensland

Police will question the Melbourne couple about their movements.  Image: NCA NewsWire/David Crosling

Police will question the Melbourne couple about their movements. Image: NCA NewsWire/David CroslingSource: News Corp Australia

Providing false, misleading or inaccurate information on a border declaration form may also result in these sanctions.

NSW did not close the border with Victoria during the lockdown period, although travelers from the state were required to adhere to the closure rules in NSW.

Failure to comply with a NSW public health order can result in a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $11,000.

It’s possible the couple could face a similar punishment to the three young Logan women who broke Covid-19 restrictions by traveling through all three states at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

The group was fined in Victoria and subsequently charged with charges in NSW and Queensland as a result of their actions.

Exposure sites in Queensland and NSW are growing

Authorities are trying to trace the couple’s movements, with the couple making multiple stops on their road trip from Victoria to Queensland, via NSW.

The list of exposure sites in NSW and Queensland has grown to 39, with Dubbo, Moree, Forbes, Caloundra, Buddina and Baringa just some of the affected areas in the two states.

Questions have been raised about how the pair managed to get into Queensland undetected if they didn’t have a travel exemption.

Their route through NSW shows them crossing the Queensland border at Goondiwindi – a town on the Macintyre River, 350 km south west of Brisbane.

According to the courier postOne theory about the couple’s route is that they chose to cross the border at Goondiwindi because the focus of police patrols on the border was near the Gold Coast.

However, the drive inland from Victoria to Queensland, across the border at Goondiwindi, is a popular route.

It’s still not known how the couple contracted the infection, but early investigations suggest they may be linked to the Craigieburn Central mall outbreak.

Victoria’s deputy health officer, Professor Allen Cheng, revealed one of the cases checked into the mall on May 23.

“I think the fact that we were able to identify a potential link to the Craigieburn shopping center within hours of hearing about these cases and even before we could speak to them really highlights the value we have in QR codes we can query that database very quickly, » he said.

dr. Young said on Thursday it looked like the couple was near the end of their contagious period.

However, she said it was still extremely important for residents to come forward and get tested.

« It’s still there, and I still want everyone to come forward who develops symptoms who live in the Sunshine Coast, or Goondiwindi or Toowoomba — it’s very, very important, » she said.

“We have seen that many tests have already started. That has to continue so we can make sure there has been no transmission.”

So far, authorities have identified 17 direct close contacts, three of which tested negative for the virus. Two of those negative results came from the parents with whom the couple was staying in Queensland.

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