Covid-infected couple who broke Melbourne lockdown could face huge fines or even jail time
‘Selfish’ Covid couple who drove from Melbourne to Queensland while infected face punishment in three states – but could escape with a slap on the wrist like ‘border riders’ who jumped in. quarantine to go to an Airbnb party
- Victorian couple escaped lockdown and traveled to QLD as contagious
- They have both since been diagnosed with Covid-19 while on the Sunshine Coast
- Health officials say the couple had no exemptions to leave Victoria
- They may face the same punishment as three women who lied on their border forms
- Diana Lasu, Olivia Winnie Muranga and Haja Timbo received community service
- Friends lied that they were in Melbourne when entering Brisbane
A Covid-infected couple who drove from Melbourne locked to Queensland via regional NSW could be sued in all tri-states for the ‘selfish’ trip, but could escape with a slap on the wrist like previous offenders.
The couple escaped the Covid lockdown of Victoria’s ‘circuit breaker’ on June 1 and made a 1,900 mile road trip through regional communities in New South Wales before arriving in Queensland on June 5 .
Health officials believe the couple were likely infected at least two weeks ago, as tests they performed on June 9 showed their viral load was dropping.
Covid-infected couple who fled Melbourne lockdown (pictured) for a road trip across three states could face huge fines and even jail time
Health authorities in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland scramble to locate hundreds of people who may have been exposed to the virus during their interstate travel
The couple had no exemptions to leave Victoria and travel to Queensland, and police are now investigating whether they lied about the border exemption passes.
They could face fines of more than $ 13,000 and six months in prison if they are found to have failed to follow border instructions in Queensland.
The couple could also face punishment in Victoria and New South Wales, like the three young women who raised fears of a Covid outbreak after lying on their border declaration forms last year.
The women lied so they could escape hotel quarantine after they flew from Queensland to Melbourne to an Airbnb apartment party in July of last year.
Diana Lasu, 21, Olivia Winnie Muranga, 20, and Haja Umu Timbo, 21, were initially charged with one count of fabricating false or misleading documents and another with fraud.
But they pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of violating a public health directive.
Muranga and Lasu tested positive for COVID-19 after the group returned to Queensland after attending the party in Melbourne as the city was on lockdown.
Olivia Winnie Muranga, 20 (photo, center) was accused of lying about her border claims to avoid quarantine in Queensland last July. She then tested positive for Covid
Haja Umu Timbo (left) and Diana Lasu (right) were sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to failing to comply with a public health directive
Muranga was sentenced to 40 hours community service in Queensland, while Lasu and Timbo were both sentenced to 80 hours community service.
They were also fined in Victoria for failing to comply with collection restrictions.
Queensland Public Health Chief Jeannette Young said police would investigate how the couple at the center of Australia’s latest Covid scare were able to enter the Sunshine State.
Victoria had been declared a hotspot by the time the couple entered Queensland, meaning the Victorians could not legally enter without exemptions.
Those authorized to enter would then have to undergo 14 days of quarantine at the hotel.
Health authorities have identified 17 close contacts of the couple, three of which have tested negative so far.
Victorian-era Acting Prime Minister James Merlino said the couple would not have violated lockdown restrictions if they had moved permanently to the Sunshine State.
“Victoria was unable to speak to the couple yesterday for a case interview, but we will do so today, and it is important to note that if they do move it is not a violation of the instructions here in Victoria but we just don’t know, ‘Merlino said.
Three states scramble to contain potential Covid outbreak after infected woman left Melbourne locked up and crossed NSW to the Sunshine Coast (Mooloolaba pictured)
NEW NSW SITES ON ALERT
The bakehouse at Forbes June 1 from 2:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Browns Sportspower in Forbes June 1 from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Better and less in Dubbo June 2 from 12:20 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Chemist’s warehouse at Dubbo June 2 from 1:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Coles in Dubbo June 2 from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bakery PKs at Dubbo June 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Coles Express at Coonabarabran June 3 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The ASSEF clothing store in Morea June 3 from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Omega Cafe closed Thursday for a deep clean after a couple with Covid-infected twice attended
The couple were only detected when they presented for tests, as the man needed a negative result for his job.
Police are investigating whether the couple crossed the NSW-Queensland border into the remote rural town of Goondiwindi on June 5 in an attempt to evade authorities.
The couple likely used this route to avoid crossing the Gold Coast – where police make 100 random interceptions a day with strict border control measures in place.
Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg criticized the couple.
“This apparent act of selfishness has not only hampered our community, but has put us all at risk and reinforces the need for constant vigilance and respect for health advice,” he said.
The infected woman had been showing symptoms – including loss of her sense of smell – since June 3, but did not request a test until June 8.
ALERT SITES ACROSS NSW AND QUEENSLAND AS INFECTED WOMAN’S TIMELINE REVEALED
Left Melbourne and crossed the border to regional New South Wales
10:30 am-11am: Gillenbah, Caltex Narrandera
6 pm-10pm: Forbes, Hotel Vandenberg
7 am-10am: Forbes, Coffee-infusion bar
10:30 am-11:30am: Dubbo, Shell gas station
11.30am-2.30pm: Dubbo, Café on rue de l’Église
6 pm-10pm: Dubbo, Reading cinemas
Midnight-10 a.m .: Dubbo, Motel Homestead
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m .: Morea, Omega Coffee
From 1.45 p.m .: Morea, Parking / Motel & Gwydir Thermal Pools
3.30pm-4.30pm: Morea, Woolworth
All day until 7:30 a.m. on June 5: Morea, Gwydir Parking / Motel & Thermal Pools
7 am-9.30am: Morea, Omega Coffee
11:50 a.m.-2: 00 p.m .: Morea, Omega Coffee
4.30 p.m.-11.00 p.m .: Morea, Amaroo Tavern
Arrived at the border of Goondiwindi and crossed in Queensland
7:35 am-7:50am: Goondiwindi, Mcdonalds
11 am-11.15am: Toowoomba, Caltex
Traveled to Sunny coast
2:45 p.m. to 3 p.m .: Moffat Beach, Sunny
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m .: Coffee Cat at Kings Beach
10:45 am-11:30am: Stockland Caloundra Shopping center – Coffee Club and Kmart stores
12.10 p.m. – 12.45 p.m .: Caloundra, Bunning
1 p.m. to 2 p.m .: Buddina, Kawana Shoppingworld
3:50 p.m. – 4 p.m .: Caloundra, Baringa IGA