After returning from Melbourne, where two are suspected to have contracted coronavirus, three young women face years in prison for allegedly lying at the Queensland border.
Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu were listed as the patients diagnosed Wednesday after returning from Melbourne on July 21 to south-east Queensland.
On Thursday they were charged with providing false or misleading information and theft.
A third woman, aged 21, who was also with the patients on the ride, faces the same charges.
She’s tested negative for the disease so far.
Police alleged the trio was “deliberately” misled after flying from Melbourne with a stopover in Sydney on their border declaration passes.
The pair will face Magistrates Court in Brisbane on September 28.
“I am obviously bitterly disappointed that we are at this stage,” Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said on Thursday.
The charges carry up to five years in prison, or a fine of $13,345.
Police also revealed that both patients cooperate with Queensland Health contact tracers after one of them had allegedly refused to reveal information about their whereabouts since returning to Queensland earlier.
Meanwhile, one of the patients’ 22-year-old sister has also been found positive for COVID-19.
The cases have sparked urgent contact monitoring attempts through southern areas of Brisbane, Logan, and Springfield in the midst of fears of COVID-19.