‘Quadruple their fines’: Karl slams virus teens
There are furious calls for harsher penalties for two teenagers who travelled to Melbourne and then lied to Queensland authorities on re-entering the state.
Today host Karl Stefanovic said the girls' "stupid actions" are going to cost the Queensland economy, calling for their $4000 fines to be "quadrupled".
"I think the inconvenience and also just the anxiousness that was produced by these two girls, it warrants having a look at the fines," he said this morning. "I know it is a state-by-state thing, but I feel very strongly that the fines don't fit the potential damage that can be caused and obviously these people aren't worried about fines at this point.
"I think we need to at least double, triple, quadruple the fines."
He also said they should be given "jail time".
"They didn't give the right information, they've travelled into Sydney and then they've gone into Brisbane, providing the wrong information. And now what's happened is there's a shutdown. Now, their stupid actions are going to cost the Queensland economy. They're going to cost businesses around Brisbane.
"They're going to cost potentially the freedoms of people travelling in and out of the state obviously. They've caused all that stress for those people and I think it's time that authorities stepped up and really increased the fines and increased all the things that need to be done in order to stop people from doing it, to make them think twice, because of the ramifications of stupid actions are now beyond."
The women, both 19, travelled together from Melbourne via Sydney to Brisbane, arriving in the Queensland capital on July 21.
On Wednesday night, they were issued with a hefty fine after allegedly lying to authorities about where they had been and failing to quarantine.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there would be a "thorough police investigation" into how the women avoided quarantine after visiting hotspots.
"I'm absolutely furious that this has happened," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"These two people have gone to Victoria, have come back and have given misleading information to authorities.
"I also want to say now that it is going to cause a lot of inconvenience to families but it is too important and we must protect Queenslanders."
Chief health officer Jeannette Young said she was "very disappointed" in the "reckless" behaviour and implored people to get a test if they had any hint of symptoms.
"These two young women have been out in the community for eight days while unwell," she said.
Here’s the list of places the three new Qld COVID cases have been. Anyone who has been to these places at the times below should immediately go into self-quarantine and call 13 HEALTH. @abcbrisbane pic.twitter.com/Cw6EU25z4x— Dan Smith (@0DanSmith) July 29, 2020
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate urged all returning travellers to be honest.
"If you have been to Victoria or one of these clusters in Sydney just be honest and take the 14-day quarantine. It's a minor thing compared to infecting the rest of Queensland. It's 14 days of watching Netflix."
The teenagers' activities sparked warnings of a "perfect storm" that could see COVID-19 case numbers rise due to the large number of public places they visited and the size of the households they lived in.
Queensland reported its first case of community transmission on Wednesday, the first in 46 days, after a 22-year-old woman, reportedly a sister of one of the women, also tested positive for coronavirus. She is not accused of any wrongdoing.
Queensland Health Minister Steve Miles said a massive contact tracing effort was under way following the girls' actions.
"These young women have gone about their business in the communities that they live in and so there will be a large amount of contact tracing to be done, largely within the Logan and Springfield areas, including shopping malls, restaurants and a church," he told reporters this morning.
"Our contact tracers are doing that work right now. There is also a number of close contacts in both of their households. They will now be ordered to quarantine.
"They travelled on flights VA863 and VA977. The Queensland Health contact tracers are identifying close contacts from those flights."
Queensland has seen 1079 people test positive for coronavirus, an increase of three from yesterday after the three women were diagnosed.
Originally published as 'Quadruple their fines': Karl slams teens