Queensland’s premier says the coronavirus “danger is still on our doorstep” and the state’s borders will remain closed to NSW and Victoria.
No new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Sunshine State overnight and just 11 remain active 12 days after the state recorded its last local infection.
Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament the situation was far worse in NSW, where there are 297 active cases, with 96 of those diagnosed in the past week.
“The danger is still on our doorstep,” she said on Thursday.
The premier said she would not put the safety of Queenslanders at risk and the borders would remain closed for as long there was transmission in southern states.
It comes as police admitted that “systems failed ” when Aaron Sydney Green, 25, was able to slip past officers and escape mandatory hotel quarantine in Toowoomba.
He surrendered himself on Wednesday, two days after walking out of the hotel nine days into his two-week isolation period.
He had earlier tested negative to COVID-19 after returning from a NSW coronavirus hotspot and was not considered a high risk to the community.
Despite this, police started searching for Green, who is accused of attempting to enter Queensland unlawfully on August 1 in a stolen vehicle.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says systems failed and officers stationed at the hotel didn’t realise Green had fled until Tuesday.
“My concerns lie in the fact we have had this issue where someone wasn’t found missing until the day later,” she told reporters.
“If we had a very robust system … with good governance, this would not have occurred.”
Ms Carroll said extra police had now been assigned to quarantine hotels.
“I would say every door and exit at that hotel would have a police officer on it as we speak,” she said.
Green pleaded guilty on Thursday in Toowoomba Magistrates Court to breaching the state’s COVID-19 health directions and was fined $1500 before returning to quarantine.
He was also retested for the COVID-19 and returned a negative result.
Earlier, police concluded an investigation into 10 Brisbane Broncos players, who allegedly met for a pub lunch earlier in the month.
The group allegedly gathered at the Everton Park Hotel on August 1 in a potential violation of the NRL’s strict coronavirus protocols.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said their alleged behaviour was disappointing and they should be punished.
“These rules were developed by the NRL for the NRL and are in place to protect Queenslanders, the players, their families and staff,” he said
“Blatant disregard of the rules is an insult to the hard work of Queenslanders who have followed the public health messaging.”
But police found no breaches of the chief health officer’s public health directions and a report was forwarded to Queensland Health and the NRL for further action.
Meanwhile, Queensland’s Supreme Court has refused to allow refugee advocates to stage a weekend protest in the heart of Brisbane.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath brought the action to stop the sit-in protest planned for the Story Bridge and Main Street in Kangaroo Point.