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Qld officer assaulted over mask mandate

A Queensland police officer has been assaulted northwest of Brisbane after telling a woman to wear a mask in a grocery store.

The woman from the Nanango region allegedly challenged the instruction to wear a mask within an IGA shop, assaulted the officer, attempted to bite them and tried to strangle a dog.

Queensland Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the woman was arrested and has been charged with animal cruelty, serious assault against police as well as breaching the chief health officer’s directions.

“The message is quite clear: Our police officers will give you the opportunity to comply with directions,” Mr Gollschewski said on Monday.

“Take that opportunity, take the mask, wear it, better still, carry the mask and wear when you need to. We will be out and about.”

Police responded to 48 service calls for unvaccinated people seeking to enter businesses in the 24 hour reporting period, but no issues arose from these incidents.

As more interstate hotspot travellers enter Queensland, 195,856 passes have been issued since borders re-opened, with 36,314 vehicles arriving by road at border checkpoints on Sunday.

The deputy commissioner said 199 cars were turned around and eight people placed into hotel quarantine.

A total of 8521 people arrived by air into Queensland with 40 turned around and 15 going into hotel quarantine.

No fines have been issued to travellers failing to get their required five-day COVID-19 test after arriving in Queensland but Mr Gollschewski said that’s part of the newly implemented border system.

“What we take throughout the pandemic, particularly when we’re changing systems as we are now, is give people a chance to comply with the system to understand what’s required and work with them,” he said.

But as the state recorded 59 new cases on Monday, close contacts of recent positive cases have forced more than 100 officers into isolation.

However Mr Gollschewski said police have the resources to deal with the shortfall.

“We can accommodate more than that … we’ve been planning for this right across government throughout the pandemic expecting it to happen at some stage,” he added.

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