‘Not a holiday’: Mackay mayor’s Easter crackdown warning
AN EASTER holiday at home is the best measure to prevent more large spikes in local coronavirus cases, Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson has warned.
Cr Williamson said the need for Queenslanders to stay put this long weekend was the key message to come out of Tuesday's teleconference between Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the state's mayors.
He warned there would be a major police crackdown on grey nomads, caravaners and would-be holiday makers.
"QPS will be out there to ensure there will be minimal movement between regions. They will have their own plans region by region," Cr Williamson said.
"If you do travel, there will be consequences.
"People who disregard the rules, the authorities will come down on them heavily."
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll promised there would be no second chances for those flouting social distancing rules at Easter, including people driving to holiday homes.
She warned fines of about $1300 could be imposed for non-essential travel.
During the meeting with the Premier, mayors were given an encouraging update on Queensland COVID-19 cases.
Of the state's 934 cases, there were just 32 where authorities could not confirm how the virus was acquired.
Cr Williamson said there had been no community transmission in the Mackay Hospital and Health Service area so far.
"It is now imperative that we continue that," he said.
"This is not an Easter holiday, it is a do not travel break.
"If we can stay within our regions, there is no community transmission."
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said while the majority of residents were doing the right thing, others were continuing to ignore the warnings.
"I received an email from a person who said they drove from Mackay to Townsville on Friday," Mrs Gilbert said.
"What I am shocked about is that people don't see these rules as applying to them.
"If you're not an essential service, go home."
With COVID-19 hotspots being identified in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Mrs Gilbert said talks of virus "border walls" would not protect central regions like Mackay.
"We can't just draw a line in the sand anymore because there's hotspots across the state," she said.