Cops swarm in Easter getaway crackdown

Police have swarmed the Port of Brisbane ferry terminal this morning, stopping Easter travellers from heading across to Moreton Island who were ignoring 'stay at home' COVID-19 travel restrictions.

A large team of officers checked all cars queued up for the ferry, turning away many passengers as authorities crackdown on people trying to sneak an Easter getaway amid the strict coronavirus lockdown.

It comes as officers are set to hit the roads in droves across the state, picking up motorists unnecessarily driving out of their areas, with those caught facing $1,300 fines.

Police at Moreton Island Adventures Ferry Terminal in Port of Brisbane were checking cars headed to the island. Picture: Richard Walker
Police at Moreton Island Adventures Ferry Terminal in Port of Brisbane were checking cars headed to the island. Picture: Richard Walker

 

A police spokesman said travellers on Moreton Bay islands ferries would continue to be subject to increasing checks by police to ensure people going to the islands were meant to be travelling there.

He said the crackdown was part of a statewide action to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and was in line with announcements made by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier in the week and the Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch this morning.

 

No infringements were issued but passengers were turned away from travelling to Moreton Island, police confirmed.

Officers were checking cars. Picture: Richard Walker
Officers were checking cars. Picture: Richard Walker

 

"Everyone was compliant with the instructions," said the spokesman, adding that police action would continue at the Port of Brisbane and Cleveland ferry terminals over Easter.

Police issued a statewide warning that motorists planning on flouting the state's strict COVID-19 restrictions and unnecessarily driving out of their areas could cop a fine this Easter long weekend.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police will be out on the roads checking whether motorists are complying with restrictions.

This wasn’t the sight travellers would have liked seeing when they’d hoped to sneak across to Moreton Island. Picture: Richard Walker
This wasn’t the sight travellers would have liked seeing when they’d hoped to sneak across to Moreton Island. Picture: Richard Walker

 

"We do have access through our partners in Department of Transport and Main Roads around traffic flows so we'll be watching really closely around what the behaviour of our community is," he said.

"So if people are thinking that the Gold Coast is a bit harder so I'm going to head to the north coast, they shouldn't assume there won't be police up there also checking their movements."

Mr Gollschewski said this will happen across the state.

Police revealed they would be patrolling southern lanes on the M1 to crack down on holiday makers who want to travel for Easter from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

Whether everyone is fined in the car is up to the discretion of the police officer.

Meanwhile, hundreds of outsiders have tried to get to North Stradbroke Island using a loophole in the travel restrictions.

More than 300 people have applied to change their principal place of address to Straddie in a bid to fool police.

Ms Enoch announced further restrictions to access to the State's national parks including closing popular locations at Springbrook, Hinchinbrook Island National Parks and Tamborine National Park

Originally published as Cops swarm in Easter getaway crackdown



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