A woman has spent a night behind bars and been fined $2000 after breaching coronavirus self-quarantine at a Queensland hotel because no fresh towels were sent to her room.
Anna Carter, 45, was supposed to be in two weeks of self-isolation at the Ibis Brisbane Airport Hotel after arriving from NSW, Brisbane Magistrates Court was told on Thursday.
But police found her outside the hotel on Wednesday, one day after she was given a $1300 fine for leaving her room to buy a Band-Aid.
She told officers the hotel was not replacing her towels each day and she had checked out.
“She had no real reason to be absent from the hotel,” a police prosecutor told the court.
“We are all aware of just how urgent the (COVID-19) situation is and the importance of self-quarantine, especially when directed to by a public health official or police.”
A day earlier, Carter was found at the Fortitude Valley railway station.
She told officers there she had left her room to buy a Band-Aid because she had a blister on her foot.
They returned her to the Ibis Hotel, but by 8am the next morning she had checked out.
Police found her five hours later back in Fortitude Valley.
She told police she had checked into a city hotel and was at the railway station to withdraw cash at an ATM.
Carter was arrested and spent the night at the police watch house in Brisbane before appearing in court.
She pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to comply with a COVID-19 direction.
Magistrate Stephen Courtney said her conduct was selfish and immature.
“Significant effort and expense have been gone to because of people like Ms Carter because the community can’t be confident (they) will do the right thing,” he said.
Carter was fined $2000 and a conviction was recorded.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the case was one of the worst examples she had seen of people breaching COVID-19 regulations.
About 300 fines have been issued to people who have ignored social distancing measures in Queensland.