Backpackers party on Cairns beach despite gathering limit of 10 people

A beach party of dozens of backpackers in Cairns has been broken up after concerned locals called the police. Outdoor gatherings in Queensland are capped at 10 people for non-contact activity under stage one of the state’s “road map” to easing coronavirus restrictions.
The state’s health department also asks people to maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres between others.
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Locals watched as dozens of young people converged at Palm Cove on Tuesday afternoon, drinking and playing volleyball in close proximity to each other.
A man named Karl, who did not want his surname published, told Seven he drove past and thought it was “just absolutely crazy” to see at least 20 people on the beach.
“Why is it the local community is doing the right thing, and people who obviously don’t live here do not give a damn about us?” he said.
“I’m not saying everyone, don’t get me wrong … there’s a select group of 20 to 40 people who are above the law.”
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He said they were partying near restaurants where patrons are capped at 10, labelling the behaviour sheer “stupidity”.
Gatherings of 20 people in public spaces and lagoons will be allowed under stage two of the state’s approach, set to commence on June 12.
“I was involved in the tourism industry, I’ve lost my job as a result of this COVID,” Karl said.
“These people are obviously backpackers from Europe, look at what is happening over there.
“We’re trying to get this place open.
“Why would anyone think you can have a big party down here in excess of 20, possibly 40 people? I’m at a loss.”
Police reportedly said the group complied with directions to disperse and no one was given a $1334.50 fine for breaching the chief health officer’s directives.
There are seven active cases of COVID-19 in Queensland however the state recorded its seventh death on Wednesday after a 30-year-old man died in his home in the town of Blackwater in central Queensland.
Queensland has recorded 1058 cases since the pandemic began.