Queensland Parliament has passed a bill allowing for people flouting COVID-19 restrictions to be jailed.ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelPeople caught breaching coronavirus health restrictions could be sent to jail for up to six months, after harsher penalties were passed through Queensland Parliament.Key points:Increasing penalties to allow for jail time comes after several serious breachesHealth Minister Steven Miles says he doesn't want Queensland's hard work to be undoneThe new laws also allow the Chief Health Officer to delegate some powersHealth Minister Steven Miles said the prison sentence could be imposed by the courts in serious cases of people flouting the state's public health directions.The increased penalty followed a number of people trying to illegally enter Queensland, after having been in areas designated as COVID-19 hotspots."We take the health of Queenslanders very seriously and our public health directions are in place to limit any potential spread of COVID-19," Mr Miles said."Queenslanders are working hard in following restrictions and health advice.Coronavirus latest: Follow all the latest information in our COVID-19 live blog"We don't want to see all our hard work undone, and we are very serious about enforcing our public health directions."The prison penalty will sit alongside already hefty fines of up to $13,345 for people and businesses caught breaking the rules. Flagrant breaches of border restrictions can now be punished with time in prison.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)Six people were fined a total of more than $24,000 for lying on border declaration forms while trying to enter Queensland at the weekend.Queensland COVID-19 snapshot:Confirmed cases so far: 1,071Deaths: 6Patients tested: 441,998Latest information from Queensland Health."It's very important that people comply with public health directions and do not provide false or misleading information on their border declaration pass," Mr Miles said."They could face heavy fines, or even now a jail term."The new laws also give the Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young permission to delegate some of her extraordinary powers to her deputy.Dr Young was granted new powers earlier this year, allowing her to impose strict restrictions, and shut down the state in severe COVID-19 outbreaks."This amendment will allow Queensland's Chief Health Officer to share her considerable workload during the pandemic response with suitably qualified medical practitioners," Mr Miles said.Read more about coronavirus:If Victoria went to 'stage 4' lockdowns, what could it look like?Authorities are worried as coronavirus infections rise in Australia's two most populous states
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