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Two girls, aged 15 and 16, who snuck into Queensland ‘from a NSW coronavirus hotspot’ are arrested at a shopping centre after a 24hr manhunt as shoppers are warned to get tested, sparking fears of a fresh outbreak

  • Two teens aged 15 and 16 arrested at shopping centre on Qld’s Sunshine Coast
  • Arrived from NSW before borders shut but allegedly skipped quarantine
  • Now in police custody to be tested for coronavirus but not displaying symptoms
  • Multiple stores at Noosa Civic shopping centre were closed as a precaution
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Two teenage girls have been arrested at a shopping centre for allegedly skipping quarantine after they crossed the Queensland border from New South Wales. 

The teens,aged 15 and 16, were detained at Noosa Civic on the Sunshine Coast on Monday before being whisked away to be tested for coronavirus.

Police said they had been looking for the girls for the last 24 hours in relation to alleged COVID-breaches after they crossed the border from NSW last week. 

Officers alleged the teens had been in Sydney prior to entering Queensland before the borders closed to all New South Wales residents on Saturday to prevent a second wave of coronavirus. 

Two teens aged 15 and 16 (pictured) have been detained following their arrest in Noosa

Two teens aged 15 and 16 (pictured) have been detained following their arrest in Noosa

Police officers pictured at Noosa Civic on Monday following the arrest of the two teens

Police officers pictured at Noosa Civic on Monday following the arrest of the two teens

‘We became aware of two young ladies who have entered through Brisbane and have made their way to the Sunshine Coast,’ Superintendent Craig Hawkins told reporters on Monday.

‘These two ladies arrived in Queensland last week – prior to the border closures.

‘However they had come from a hotspot down in NSW.’ 

One girl is from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast while the other is from NSW.

Supt Hawkins said the girls arrived into Brisbane by plane and had lied about where they had been.

‘They weren’t completely honest with where they had been but later on we discovered they had come from a hotspot,’ he said.

Multiple shops at Noosa Civic have been closed for deep cleaning as a precaution, sparking community alarm on local neighbourhood Facebook pages.

A Noosa Civic spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the shopping centre remains open and operating as normal. 

‘Stockwell and Noosa Civic centre management are aware of a police incident at the centre today. The centre management team is cooperating with Police and their directions,’ she added.

Police are yet to decided whether charges will be laid against the two teens (pictured in custody on Monday). One is from Queensland's Sunshine Coast and the other is from NSW

Police are yet to decided whether charges will be laid against the two teens (pictured in custody on Monday). One is from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and the other is from NSW

The teens haven’t been charged but remain in custody to be tested.

Superintendent Hawkins stressed that the girls aren’t displaying any symptoms and that the local community should not be alarmed.

‘Certainly there is no need to panic in regards to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Sunshine Coast,’ he said.

‘I stress, there is no information to suggest they are carriers of the disease.

‘However, in the interests of safety and because they have come from a hotspot, we were keen to ensure they had undertaken the right testing to ensure that Queensland doesn’t find itself in a situation where it might be contaminated.

Police are yet to determine whether charges will be laid but said quarantine would be a ‘likely’ outcome.

Multiple stores at Noosa Civic (pictured) on Queensland's Sunshine Coast have been closed following the teens' arrest

Multiple stores at Noosa Civic (pictured) on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast have been closed following the teens’ arrest

Queensland recorded just one new case of COVID-19 on Monday with no community transmissions for eight consecutive days.  

Health officials have been on high alert for an outbreak linked to Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu, who spent a week moving around the community after returning from Melbourne before testing positive to the virus.

The teens and another friend were each fined $4000 over their irresponsible actions.

‘Today was the very important day,’ Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, referring to the end of the two-week period since police placed the women in isolation.

Communities on Queensland’s southern border have been put on notice that exemptions allowing them to cross over will end if coronavirus spreads north from NSW.

The Queensland borders shut to NSW residents last Friday, a week after Sydneysiders were banned from crossing the border. Pictured is police checkpoint at Coolangatta near the NSW/Queensland border

The Queensland borders shut to NSW residents last Friday, a week after Sydneysiders were banned from crossing the border. Pictured is police checkpoint at Coolangatta near the NSW/Queensland border

The warning comes two days after the Queensland closed its border with NSW and authorities on Monday relaxed restrictions blocking visitors from aged care homes.

‘The border is difficult,’  the state’s chief health officer Jeannette Young told reporters.

Dr Young said it was likely COVID-19 would spread through NSW north to the border communities and could cross over into Queensland.

 

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