Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.
Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.

Man hands himself in after escaping hotel quarantine

THE Queensland Police Service will launch an independent investigation to learn how a 25-year-old Toowoomba man was able to escape from mandatory hotel quarantine.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said it was first time a person had escaped from a mandatory quarantine in Queensland.

"We want to know what has happened and if there is anything we can fix, we will fix it," he said.

"It does not appear that he was assisted by anybody.

"He worked out a way to leave, and he left."

The man escaped yesterday and handed himself in to police this afternoon.

He was given an expedited COVID-19 test, which returned a negative result.

Queensland Health with conduct a second test soon to understand what level of risk the man posed to the wider community and if contact tracing was necessary.

Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski said the quarantine at Toowoomba hotel where the man was staying was managed by police officers.

"We do not have any private security guards at quarantine hotels in Queensland," he said.

It is understood the man entered Queensland via the border crossing at Goondiwindi.

"He was previously charged with other criminal offence and also attempted to get into Queensland unlawfully and will appear it in Goondiwindi Magistrates Court in September," Dept Insp Gollschewski said. 

He was issued a notice to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days but fled on the ninth day.

"We have had nearly 16000 people placed in mandatory quarantine in hotels in Queensland," Dept Gollschewski said.

"This is the first such incident that we have had so we are very concerned about that.

"We are not going to sit back and say, 'Oh well, it's only one out of 16,000, it not that bad.'

"We want to know what has happened." 


Police hunt for man who fled hotel quarantine in Toowoomba