Police have the power to enforce coronavirus rules — in public and in your own home

| 22.03,20. 06:00 AM |

Police have the power to enforce coronavirus rules — in public and in your own home

PHOTO: Police will be working under direction from state health authorities in enforcing self-isolation. (AAP: James Gourley)

"This is not an advisory, this is your civic duty to your fellow Australians. Stay home for that entire 14 days if you've come back to Australia — no exceptions.

"If you see anyone who is not abiding by that … make sure they do because we are really serious about that."

The need for vigilance has been highlighted again in NSW, after almost 2,700 passengers from a cruise ship that had carried COVID-19-infected passengers docked in Sydney.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said every passenger was now "under strict conditions" and NSW Health had contacted all passengers to reinforce the importance of self-isolation for 14 days.

Mr Hunt similarly addressed the recent scenes on Bondi Beach, which saw significant patronage despite the push for social distancing — so much so that the beach has now been temporarily closed.

"What happened in Bondi was unacceptable and the local council must take steps to stop that from occurring," Mr Hunt said.

"This is all of our responsibility, each of us. I would say to everybody, we are all in this together."

Serious penalties could apply
Every state has their own laws and potential punishments, which range from fines to jail time.

In New South Wales, breaching a public health order could bring a fine of up to $11,000 and even six months' jail time.

In South Australia, the maximum penalty is $25,000, in Queensland it is $13,345, in Victoria it is $20,000 and in Tasmania it is $8,400.

In Western Australia, punishment could be as severe as a $50,000 fine or even 12 months' imprisonment.

Despite the variance, each state is clear that repeatedly disobeying the self-isolation orders is a serious offence and will be punishable.


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