Holiday happy snaps used to nab border jumpers

 

Police manning Gold Coast border checkpoints are checking smartphone happy snaps for evidence of lies as they ramp up scrutiny of suspicious travellers.

They say are on 'heightened vigilance' after two Logan women who visited COVID-ravaged Melbourne slipped into Queensland illegally and then came down with the virus.

The Gold Coast's top cop, Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler, said his officers were already checking photo time and date stamps on suspect travellers' mobile phones and this would increase after the alarming border breach and as Queensland prepares to shut all Sydneysiders out of the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday declared Greater Sydney the latest COVID hotspot, slamming the border shut on millions of potential visitors.

Police are checking happy snaps recorded on people’s phones to ensure they haven’t been in any known COVID-19 hot spots. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Police are checking happy snaps recorded on people’s phones to ensure they haven’t been in any known COVID-19 hot spots. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Supt Wheeler said police would be on high alert when the border closure kicks in at 1am on Saturday and warned travellers to expect more long delays.

"We need to not only maintain our vigilance but to be on heightened vigilance and that's certainly my message to our staff on the checkpoints," he said.

"Obviously, we don't want to see something like what happened with the two Logan women occur again.

"We've already turned away well over 700 people at the checkpoint and 10 people at the (Gold Coast) airport and you can expect there will be many more, because we're acutely aware of the ramifications of someone who's COVID-positive slipping through."

Supt Wheeler said thousands of southeast Queensland and northern NSW residents were being emailed to urge them to download the latest border pass declaring they had not visited Sydney.

He said all vehicles with no border passes, or the wrong ones, could expect to be intercepted at the checkpoints.

"We are anticipating more delays; that has been a feature every time that a new hotspot has been declared," he said.

"It's unfortunate but unavoidable. If you want a more streamlined passage through the border entry points, have the current pass displayed on your windscreen and you're much more likely to be waved through."

Police on Wednesday refused entry to another 29 people at the Gold Coast border checkpoints.

Originally published as Holiday happy snaps used to nab border jumpers


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