Officials in the Australian state of Queensland say those breaking quarantine rules could face up to six months in jail The current set of fines for breaking a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine for some visitors or lying about their whereabouts "appears not to be enough" in some cases, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said, per the AP. With higher fines and the threat of jail time, "I hope that will demonstrate to the public just how serious we are about enforcing these measures,” Miles said.
Queensland shut its state borders to successfully contain the coronavirus outbreak, but reopened to all but residents of Victoria, Australia's worst affected region, two weeks ago. The city of Melbourne in Victoria recorded 270 new coronavirus infections overnight, with more than 4,000 cases now active across the state. Melbourne is one week into a six-week lockdown in an attempt to stop a spike in new cases there. Health experts have warned that outbreaks that had been brought under control with shutdowns and other forms of social distancing were likely to flare again as precautions were relaxed. (After paramedics in Melbourne overheard somebody make a large KFC order, 16 partygoers were fined a total of more than $18,000.)