National

Hundreds of Qld partygoers flout virus law

By AAP Newswire

Hundreds of people caught partying on a far-north Queensland beach could face criminal charges for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

Police responded to complaints from locals near Wangetti Beach early on Saturday when up to 300 people held a raucous party complete with a stage and DJ.

After the sound system was unplugged and the gathering dispersed, a large section of the crowd became hostile towards police and backup was called.

Several people were charged with drink driving and other offences and fines were issued for illegal camping while investigations continue over breaches of coronavirus directives by the chief health officer.

Acting Superintendent Mark Linwood said officers showed incredible patience and tolerance.

"By and large Queenslanders have done a great job in combating COVID-19 but we cannot and must not become complacent," he said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The state has gone a fourth day without new virus diagnoses and had only 11 active cases on Sunday.

The encouraging statistics came as Victoria recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic, with 17 fatalities.

Queenslanders returning from NSW, Victoria or the ACT must now arrive by air and pay at least $2800 for a two-week stay in hotel quarantine.

The tough new rules follow Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to close the border to guard against community transmission of coronavirus.

Those who fail to comply could face on-the-spot fines of $1334, court-imposed penalties of up to $13,345 or six months' imprisonment.

The closure came into force at 1am on Saturday, causing havoc at border crossings with more than 140 cars waiting hours only to be turned around.

"It's unfortunate but this is all about stopping COVID-19 coming into Queensland," Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said.

Queensland has declared NSW and ACT virus 'hotspots'.

"Victoria hasn't improved as we hoped and I won't wait for NSW to get any worse," Ms Palaszczuk said earlier in the week.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said if Queensland kept case numbers down, she would consider allowing visitors back into Brisbane aged care facilities.