Police have revealed that they are taking action after a woman who travelled to Queensland from Sydney on July 1 broke out of hotel quarantine.
Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the woman was found to be missing from her room at Cairns’ Pacific International Hotel on Monday.
Police pieced together her escape using CCTV footage.
“Our reconstruction of that, and that includes examining CCTV; it appears that this person has scaled two balconies, gone down an outside staircase, and then has damaged a door to escape,” Gollschewski told reporters on Tuesday.
Gollschewski said police believe the woman kicked in the door, indicating she was “fairly motivated” to escape.
The woman, who police at first said was 32-years-old, but later Win News Cairns reporter Freya Jenson confirmed was, in fact, 22-years-old, was located at her mother’s residence in Cairns on Monday night.
“Police have conducted enquiries, and that person was located last night in Cairns, was cooperative with police but has been returned into custody and is currently in custody at the Cairns City Watchhouse and is facing a number of charges, including criminal charges,” Gollschewski said.
He said it was not the first attempted escape from hotel quarantine in Queensland but was the first successful one from that hotel.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the woman “went to extraordinary lengths to scale balconies to get out.”
Gollschewski said she told police that she had broken out of quarantine because she wanted to go home to her mother.
“So look … quarantine can be very difficult for some people, particularly if they’re by themselves, we understand that,” he said. “Nonetheless, it is a very strict control and the whole point of quarantine whether it’s home or hotel quarantine is not to mix with the community, and this person in order to get out has committed some other offences, unfortunately.”
Queensland currently has only one new locally acquired CCP virus case in the state, five overseas acquired cases in hotel quarantine, and 49 active cases in total.
Palaszczuk said the case was identified as a close contact of an Alpha variant case in the Portuguese club cluster.
She said if people keep wearing face masks, social distancing, getting tested and checking in using QR codes, the outbreaks will be brought under control.
“Great news today, thank you Queensland, for the wonderful work that you’re doing and, as I said, if we’re all doing the right thing, we will get through this together,” the premier said.
Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeanette Young said the new case is a close contact of a 29-year-old man from Sinnamon Park who travelled to the Noosa area last week.
The Kangaroo Point woman is asymptomatic and is a student nurse at Griffith University but has not been on campus.
Over 22,000 Queenslanders were tested on Monday, over 12,000 vaccinations were administered, and over 1.59 million doses have been administered in total in the state.
AAP contributed to this report.