In an Australian first, the Palaszczuk Government will establish a dedicated team to boost tracking in the government’s fight against coronavirus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the enforcement team would form an important part of the Queensland Health’s efforts to tackle the pandemic.
“My government is throwing everything we have got at Covid-19,” the Premier said.
“Law enforcement officials will now be able to assist the Public Health Units with contact tracing people who have come into contact with a known coronavirus case.
“They will also lead the enforcement of people who have been ordered to quarantine, making sure they stay inside their homes, to protect others and slow the spread of coronavirus.
“The enforcement team will also assist with ensuring the self-isolation of people diagnosed with coronavirus.
“The vast majority are doing the right thing and following the rules, but we need to ensure there’s 100 per cent compliance.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the new unit would form an important part of Queensland Health’s coronavirus contact tracing and monitoring efforts.
“This new enforcement unit has one purpose, and that’s to protect public health – it will have strong powers and won’t hesitate to use them,” Ms D’Ath said.
Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland’s Public Health Units, under the leadership of the Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, have done an outstanding job in contact tracing and keeping in touch with those who have been diagnosed with coronavirus but are being treated at home.
“We have quadrupled the number of staff members working for our Public Health Units already and this announcement will significantly increase resources,” Mr Miles said.
“Self-isolation and quarantine means you can’t go out for a walk, you can’t pop down to the shops or get a takeaway coffee from your local café.
“While most people are following the rules, there are some people putting the public at risk.
“This new enforcement team will help ensure all Queenslanders are doing the right thing.
“We all need to work together to tackle this virus.”