Police clamp down on Easter holiday outings
THIS weekend will be an Easter celebration like no other, as police warn residents there will be steep fines if they are caught flouting health regulations.
Mackay District Superintendent Glenn Morris's Easter message was a stern reminder that police would be handing out on-the-spot fines to anyone being "reckless and in blatant disregard of these regulations".
Eye-watering fines have already been slapped on eight people on a Whitsunday commercial vessel.
With individuals each facing $1300 fines, the Whitsunday trip cost the group $10,400.
"The directions are here for a reason, to keep everyone safe,' he said.
While the Easter holidays were traditionally a time for those in Mackay to explore the beautiful natural surroundings, Supt Morris said everyone should avoid the closed national parks and recreation areas.
"I know traditionally people love to go camping over the Easter period. But camping areas in Queensland national parks, state forests and recreational areas are closed until further notice," he said.
"People should not be attending (public places) for the purposes of having a day out or a holiday"
"I can't stress enough, if you do not need to leave your house for an essential reason please do not leave your house."
"The simple message is, please do not take this as a normal Easter."
Overall, residents were abiding by the health restrictions, Supt Morris said.
And he had been taken aback by the "many acts of kindness" he had witnessed during the crisis.
"Over the past few weeks we have seen our community band together, supporting and engaging neighbours," he said.
"This makes me not only proud to serve this community as a police officer, but also to live here and be part of our community,' he said.
Supt Morris reminded everyone to maintain social distancing when outside by staying 1.5m apart, not shaking hands or embracing and where possible to work from home.
Regardless of the number of people living in a household only two visitors are allowed, Supt Morris said.
In this scary and isolating time, Supt Morris encouraged everyone to look after their mental health.
He said residents could call or video chat with their family and friends over the festive period.