CHECKPOINT: Queensland Police Service officers have been conducting health screening for Cherbourg residents and visitors. (Photo: QPS)
CHECKPOINT: Queensland Police Service officers have been conducting health screening for Cherbourg residents and visitors. (Photo: QPS)

New freedom for Cherbourg residents as virus slows

CHERBOURG residents will be able to travel out of the community for day trips from today.

This comes after weeks of strict restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus at Cherbourg.

Community members will now be able to travel seven days a week from 7am to 10pm, with multiple trips and no limit on passengers in vehicles.

However, people travelling away from the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire must return the same day.

Residents will not be permitted to travel to coronavirus hotspots, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Cherbourg Mayor Elvie Sandow said this was possible since there had not been any cases in Gympie or the South Burnett for a number of weeks and no cases of the virus in Cherbourg.

“It is always important to remember that when outside of community you maintain social distancing and wash your hands often,” she said.

“We are doing this for everyone, especially the Elders and the very young people. If we stick to the rules, Cherbourg can continue to be an example to the rest of Queensland.”

The Mayor, CEO and key LDMG people met and negotiated on behalf of the Cherbourg community via teleconference with members of the Gympie District Disaster Management Group and biosecurity doctors on Monday.

They will continue to review these decisions.

Self-quarantine conditions will still apply, but may now take place in Cherbourg.

South Burnett police are continuing to assist Queensland Health in reducing the risk of the virus in Cherbourg.

The officers have assisted with a health screening checkpoint remaining in place for restricted access into the community.

Cherbourg was declared a designated area under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 with entry conditions in place to assist in protecting the community from the virus.

At the Health Screening Checkpoint on Cherbourg Murgon Rd, members of the Australian Defence Force assisted health officers in checking people and vehicles entering Cherbourg to ensure motorists were complying with entry conditions.

While the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council eased restrictions for Cherbourg residents to travel outside of the community, all other restrictions remain in place.

Inspector Graeme Paine said the health screening measures were about protecting vulnerable members of the Cherbourg community.

“Thankfully, COVID-19 has not reached the Cherbourg community and we need to maintain health screening measures at the checkpoint to protect Cherbourg,” he said.

“Restrictions are easing further, however, we still need everyone to follow the rules and keep our community safe.”