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Queensland Police continues investigating Bathurst arrivals

Mat Coch

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Wednesday 28th October, 2020 - 5:00pm

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The current Queensland-New South Wales border bubble

Investigations by Queensland Police are continuing amid allegations individuals travelled from the Bathurst 1000 into the state without adhering to quarantine protocols.

On Monday, it was revealed that Jamie Whincup and a number of other Triple Eight staff had been asked to leave the state after returning from New South Wales.

They’d entered the state legally under the QLD Freight Protocol via a Freight border pass, with authorities exercising their right under the legislation to ask them to quarantine.

Queensland Police has since confirmed to Speedcafe.com that investigations remain ongoing with suggestions a number of attendees at an event at Queensland Raceway last weekend were at Bathurst a week prior.

Sources have revealed Police attended the circuit over the course of the weekend where it is believed the event featured attendees from NSW and Victoria in competitive, support, and administrative roles.

“Task Force Sierra Linnet Detectives are currently investigating the alleged return of a number of Queensland residents that had attended The Bathurst 1000 sporting event on the weekend of 17-18 October 2020,” read a statement issued to this publication by Queensland Police.

“These matters are subject to ongoing investigation and no further comment can be made until the completion of these investigations.”

It was subsequently clarified that non-Queensland residents are also being investigated.

Residents wishing to re-enter the state who have been in a declared hotspot within the last 14 days are required to quarantine for 14 days.

Visitors to the state are currently permitted, provided they have not visited a hotspot in the preceding two weeks from the time of entry.

The entirety of NSW (with the exemption of some postcodes around the Queensland border, see above) and Victoria are currently regarded as hotspots.

Border passes exist, most notably the F Pass for Freight and Logistics operators who only need to quarantine if asked to do so by Queensland authorities (as was the case for Whincup and his Triple Eight colleagues).

Most Queensland-based Supercars-related personnel have chosen to meet the 14-day non-hotspot requirement for otherwise uninhibited re-entry by locating themselves in the NSW/Queensland border bubble.

Last week health authorities in NSW issued a warning to anyone who had attended the Bathurst 1000, or had otherwise been in Bathurst, after traces of COVID-19 were detected in waste water.

It was today announced that traces of the virus have been found in the City of Ipswich area in Queensland.

“We have had several weeks worth of negative results at this wastewater testing location since the Brisbane Youth Detention cluster,” explained Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young.

“There is a very real possibility this wastewater result is a sign of one or more undetected positive COVID-19 cases in the Ipswich community, and we are treating this seriously.”

A sample was taken by Queensland Health last week from a treatment plant at Carole Park, which captures water from Ipswich, Camira, Carole Park, Ellen Grove, and Springfield.

In July, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles increased penalties breaches of the state’s COVID-19 legislation can attract.

Serious breaches could attract gaol time with fines of up to $13,345 also in place.

“We take the health of Queenslanders very seriously and our public health directions are in place to limit any potential spread of COVID-19,” Mr Miles said at the time.

“Queenslanders are working hard in following restrictions and health advice.

“It’s very important that people comply with public health directions and do not provide false or misleading information on their border declaration pass,” he added.

“They could face heavy fines, or even now a gaol term.”

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