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How a rumour in Roma has entire town on edge over ten Victorian visitors


The western Queensland town of Roma has been shaken by a whisper campaign over the fate of 10 Victorian visitors now quarantined in a local pub.

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Maranoa Mayor Tyson Golder has urged the community to ignore false information about COVID-19 quarantine measures in place for ten people undergoing quarantine at a hotel in the town, 480km northwest of Brisbane, after travelling from Victoria.

Police said most of them had been relocating, with the latest person entering quarantine on July 9.

Under the State Government’s latest health directions, residents returning to Queensland who have been in Victoria will be required to hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Queensland’s borders remain closed to Victorians and people from interstate who have travelled to Victoria in the past fortnight.

Golder said he was confident the measures in place would protect the community.

“It’s just a precaution, but because Queensland Police are obviously running it and working with Queensland Health, I’ve got confidence this will keep the community safe.”

He said it was important for people not to be scared by false information that had been circulating.

“Because the rumours, I’ve found, are almost nearly completely wrong,” he said.

“Generally, the Chinese whispers become a bit bigger than what it actually is.”

Police Inspector Ray Vine said officers were at the quarantine site around the clock.

“To ensure both the safety and welfare of anyone who is in quarantine and also to ensure compliance with the quarantine direction,” he said.

“I would really like to reinforce that there is no risk to the local community.”

A driver from NSW displays his permit to Police at Griffith Street checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.
Victorians are restricted from entering Queensland after a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. (Photo: AAP: Albert Perez)

Police operations

Vine said the quarantine would have no effect on police operations in the region.

“We have support from police at the moment who have been drawn in from Brisbane to supplement our policing resources in Roma,” he said.

“There’s certainly no risk to community safety in terms of reduced service delivery.”

Golder said it was also an important reminder for people to maintain social distancing with an influx of tourists into the region during the school holidays.

“I know people have said, ‘but there’s no COVID here, but … ‘; we really need to make sure we keep our game up, otherwise we could be back in the same boat.”

– ABC / David Chen

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