NSW will introduce on-the-spot fines for anyone found to be breaking self-isolation or social distancing rules
Police now have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for people found to be breaching social distancing measures. Credit: AAP
The penalty of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses comes into effect at midnight on Wednesday, following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of new, stricter social distancing measures on Tuesday night.
“If you’re at Centennial Park and there’s an individual who’s organised a training session with over 10 people, the individual who organised it will get $5000 fine and the individuals training will get a $1000 fine,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said, as an example, on Wednesday.
Police have also been given the power to charge people in relation to breaking the rules, an offence that can carry a six-month jail term.
“Police won’t be giving advice and guidance now, we’ll be taking strong action,” Fuller said
“In relation to the more serious charges, if we found someone who had the infection was visiting someone in a nursing home, we would expect that they would be charged and put before the court.”
Fuller said the new penalties are being introduced to push people to heed authorities’ warnings.
“I would much rather be able to start writing out tickets… that might just get people’s attention to start listening to the health minister, to start listening to the premier and the prime minister,” Fuller said.
‘We need to kill this virus’
NSW Police Minister David Elliott added the penalties were introduced for people who don’t obey the law.
“We need to kill this virus before it kills us,” he said.
Elliott added there will be an increased police presence in the community and officers will be checking in on people they believe may be breaching quarantine laws.
Fuller added the penalties apply to anyone in breach of new rules surrounding indoor and outdoor gatherings, weddings and funerals.