Gold Coast woman charged over fake COVID exemptions faces court

A Gold Coast woman accused of pretending to be a doctor and issuing hundreds of fake COVID-19 exemptions has appeared in court for the first time.

Maria Carmela Pau allegedly handed out more than 600 of the false medical certificates, which exempted people from getting tested, vaccinated and wearing a mask.

The 45-year-old was arrested at a home in Labrador earlier this month following an investigation by police.


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She was charged with five counts of taking a title indicating a person is a health practitioner, the first person in Queensland to have been charged with the offence.

Her case was briefly mentioned in Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday, where it was adjourned to November 18.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for anyone who has had contact with the woman to come forward.

“In many instances, people would not have known the woman was acting illegally,” Queensland Police said.

“However, it is important to recognise the ‘exemptions’ issued by the woman are invalid.”