$13k fine threat as officers forced into ‘prison bubble’
PRISON officers are being forced into their own COVID-19 'prison bubble' that bans them from doing anything other than going to their home and work amid the state's prison coronavirus crisis.
The Courier-Mail has obtained notices which direct some Arthur Gorrie staff to only go to work and their homes or face fines of up to $13,345.
It comes after unrest at the state's remand centre and other jails after Queensland Corrective Services was forced to lock down jails after officers who were at the QCS training academy tested positive.
Two Arthur Gorrie officers who were at the training academy later worked shifts at the jail.
After the lockdown prisoners trashed cells and units and lit fires. It's unclear how many staff have the COVID-19 quarantine directions.
"You are permitted to leave your stated place of quarantine for the purpose of undertaking work at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre," conditions of the quarantine direction state.
"Travel to the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre must be the most direct route and without stopping."
The other conditions state the officers must have been tested with a negative result, have no symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and wear PPE at all times at work.
"And remain in quarantine at home at all other times," the directive says.
Some officers are unhappy about the directive.
"You can't go to shops, you can't go anywhere," an officer said.
"You can go to work. But you have to stay at home in case you give it to someone."
Together Union industrial services director Michael Thomas said the union, which represents the officers, was seeking urgent clarification about the directives.
"Our priority is making sure we do not see the spread of COVID-19," Mr Thomas told The Courier-Mail.
"We have concerns about how this modified quarantine order can be practically applied.
"We are seeking advice from the chief health officer for clarification as to how it will be applied."
Queensland Health and Queensland Corrective Services have been contacted for comment.
Originally published as $13k fine threat as officers forced into 'prison bubble'