The following can be attributed to Acting Townsville District Officer, Acting Superintendent Brad Inskip:
First of all, I want to thank the people of Townsville for their support in helping to keep the community safe during what can only be described as a difficult time as we continue to fight Covid-19.
Social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, using the recording app, and getting vaccinations are key to protecting our families, friends, neighbors and the community during this global pandemic.
Christmas is a time to celebrate, to connect, for families, individuals and groups to come together and socialize.
And as we all know, Covid-19 is carried by people and spread by people. Social gatherings, crowds, parties can be perfect occasions for the spread of the virus.
With Covid-19 and the highly contagious variant of Omicron spreading across Queensland, now is the time to stay alert and adhere to safety precautions, not the time to turn back the clock.
Townsville Police will be in the community, performing compliance checks on businesses, ensuring that instructions from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CHO) are followed. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action if necessary.
We will also ensure compliance with masks, and while taking an educational and common sense approach, we will impose fines for flagrant disobeying of CHO instructions.
Guidelines put in place for your safety, that of your loved ones and that of our community.
You can expect Townsville Police to follow CHO’s instructions and take appropriate action in our efforts to keep you and our community safe.
Business compliance checks
As of December 17, pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and cinemas are only allowed to allow fully vaccinated people to their premises in Queensland.
This means that customers entering these businesses must register with the site and prove that they are fully vaccinated.
Throughout the pandemic, the Queensland Police Department maintained a communications and compassionate approach to ensuring compliance.
Police will work closely with local businesses and the community to ensure customers at these sites follow the new direction in public health.
Businesses should clearly display the new rules to help educate their customers and take reasonable steps to ensure customers comply with the directive.
Throughout the pandemic, the high levels of compliance by business operators and residents of Queensland have been exceptional – including the wearing of masks, adherence to site capacity limits, social distancing, and widespread use of the recording application.
We urge community members to be respectful of company personnel who will meet their obligations under this guidance.
If business operators encounter difficult customers who refuse to obey the rules or leave the premises, they can contact the police and we can help them.
Local police will patrol popular entertainment and dining areas, especially during the new leadership’s first weekend.
There are fines of $ 1,378 for individuals and $ 6,892 for companies that do not comply with public health guidelines. Other measures may also be taken, depending on the circumstances of the case.
QPS officers will continue to work closely with partner agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol and Gaming, to undertake compliance operations.
More information on public health and social measures can be found here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public -health- acts-powers