Travelers angry because their phone records are being searched by agents at the airport to see where they’ve been
Travelers outraged as their phone records are searched by airport police to track where they were and grilled about the details of their travels – all in the name of protecting against Covid
- Some passengers at Sunshine Coast Airport complained about police interrogation
- The officers have powers under the Public Health Act to enforce border controls
- Travelers said returning residents were questioned as visitors waved on
Queenslanders flying home from holiday claim they have been ‘interrogated’ by police thanks to the Covid outbreak in Victoria.
Daniel Gibbs flew back to the Sunshine Coast from Sydney, where he said police brutally stormed him with questions as if they thought he was lying.
He told the ABC the police asked him, ‘Where else have you been? Why have you been there? You can really tell me where you’ve been. I do not believe you. Show me your Google Maps so I can see exactly where you’ve been.”
Taizé Taylor (pictured) said police just let him through at the Sunshine Coast airport after saying he hadn’t been to Victoria
Flights to and from Victoria are still operating, but many states, including Queensland, have introduced border controls against the hotspot area with passengers questioned about their journey.
Border restrictions were fueled by the latest Covid outbreak in Melbourne, which counted 63 cases on Thursday.
Mr Gibbs said he dropped off his phone and the agent searched the Google Maps apps to check where he had been in Sydney.
He also said an elderly couple in their 70s received the same treatment and looked nervous – he suspected they may not have phones to prove their journey.
He also explained that arriving passengers were split into two groups of returning residents and interstate visitors – with the visitors only needing to quickly show their border pass and identification and then walk straight ahead.
Carina Aul (pictured) said she felt like the police are demanding to look, although people’s Google Maps was a bit much
Taizé Taylor, 27, of NSW agreed, saying he was asked if he had been in Melbourne or in contact with anyone who has Covid in the past two weeks.
When he answered “no,” the officers simply pointed him toward the exit.
Other returning Queensland residents such as Carina Aul said checking their Google Maps data felt like the police were invading their privacy.
Some even said they had to show the history of banking transactions because their location tracking was turned off.
The passengers arrived at Sunshine Coast airport (pictured) where they were met by police
Queensland Police Superintendent Craig Hawkins said his officers had work to do to enforce health guidelines.
He explained that the flight in question was from NSW and that returning Queensland residents could have taken a connecting flight in Sydney from Victoria.
“A resident of NSW – there is much less chance they would have come from Victoria,” he said.
Under the Public Health Act, the police will be given powers to detain and interrogate citizens in response to a public health emergency.