Police say travellers continue to arrive at Queensland's borders in extraordinary numbers. Image by Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS

Health

Three new virus cases in Queensland

2020-08-15 14:46:13

Queensland has recorded three new COVID-19 cases but no community infections as parts of the state kicked-off a long weekend. 

One new case is a returned traveller from Sydney who is in hotel quarantine, while two are people on a cargo ship off the coast.

Two new cases were announced earlier on Friday, with the third reported in the afternoon.

The two crew members are likely to be transferred to shore soon to be admitted to Townsville University Hospital, Queensland Health said in a statement on Friday.

“All other crew from the vessel have been tested and are confirmed negative,” the statement said.

The traveller is a man in his 30s.

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to nine as two women from Logan, south of Brisbane, were released from hospital after contracting the virus.

The teens sent the sunshine state into high alert for two weeks after they dodged quarantine on return from Melbourne last month.

The latest figures come as a planned protest on Brisbane’s Story Bridge has been switched for a gathering in nearby Raymond Park.

The state government won an injunction preventing a mass sit-in on Saturday after organisers and the Australian Border Force failed to reach an agreement at a meeting on Tuesday.

It is the latest in a series of rallies against the continued incarceration of 120 asylum seekers in a Kangaroo Point hotel after the men were transferred from detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru to Brisbane for medical treatment.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict to ban the refugee advocates from blocking the traffic bridge.

“We support the right to peaceful protest but only if it can be done in a COVID-safe way that doesn’t put public safety at risk,” she said on Thursday.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Refugee Solidarity Brisbane instead asked its supporters to meet for a game of soccer followed by a march outside the hotel.

Meanwhile, travellers continue to arrive in Queensland in extraordinary numbers despite the state’s tough border controls, according to police.

Officers checked 65 flights with more than 2600 passengers at Queensland airports on Thursday, with five people refused entry and 142 quarantined.

On the roads, police stopped 4575 vehicles at the border, turning around 253 and ordering 54 people to self-isolate. 

Numbers in mandatory hotel quarantine have swelled to 2900 people.

“The number is just incredible,” Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told reporters on Thursday.

“These are challenging times.”

She admitted systems had failed when a man slipped past officers to escape mandatory hotel quarantine in Toowoomba.

Aaron Sydney Green, 25, surrendered himself on Wednesday, two days after walking out of the hotel. He had been nine days into his two-week isolation period.

Officers stationed at the hotel did not 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,” Ms Carroll said.

The delay has triggered a review of Queensland’s quarantine system. 

Green has since tested negative for the virus and was fined for the breach.