A young man who left COVID lockdown in Sydney and flew to Ballina while infected with the virus has been fined nearly $10,000 for numerous health order breaches in NSW and Queensland.
A flight attendant that collected the man from Ballina and then drove him to Brisbane has also been fined – copping a $4,135 penalty.
A Brisbane court issued the fines yesterday as the NSW government recorded a further 177 new COVID cases – the highest number for the current outbreak.
The government also announced this morning that Pfizer vaccine doses would be taken from regional areas such as the North Coast and redirected to Year 12 students in eight Sydney local government areas where the outbreak is at its worst.
According to police the 26-year-old man and the flight attendant later tested positive to the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 after spending time in the community.
It forced authorities to spring into action and conduct a widespread contact tracing operation.
Police said the man attended three shops in Chermside, where he used false information to check-in on July 15.
After being placed into hotel quarantine in Brisbane, police said the man opened the door to his room and verbally abused staff while not wearing a mask.
Police have also alleged that while in the hotel, after being given his COVID-19 Delta strain diagnosis, he ignored warnings and continued to open his door while not wearing a face mask.
The man was fined over the border breach and for providing untrue information and a third for failing to comply with the COVID-19 direction of an emergency officer.
The fines for his three breaches total $9,648.
The man has since been put in quarantine in hospital.
In relation to the decision to redirect Pfizer vaccine doses from regional NSW to Sydney, Deputy Premier John Barillaro said:
‘The redirection of the vaccine is important to give those Year 12 students [in Sydney] the opportunity for face-to-face education and to have the same opportunities as students in regional areas to do their final exams in the same way as students in the rest of the state.’
More to come