$1000 fine for ignoring isolating rules

NSW Police will be cracking down on companies and individuals who ignore strict coronavirus lockdown measures, with authorities given the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $5000 from midnight tonight.

Police Minister David Elliott today announced officers will be able to issue individuals a $1000 fine for not self-isolating, with corporations facing a fine of $5000 if they remain open despite Tuesday night's "stage 2" announcement.

Police also said people could be jailed for up to six months for disobeying restrictions.

Mr Elliott said the measures would send the message that it was taking all precautions extremely seriously.

"We need to kill this virus before it kills us," he said.

"For that reason the NSW parliament introduced last night swift and certain penalties for people that don't obey the law."

He also said there will be increased police patrols in the community and random checks based on tip-offs to authorities.

He said while the NSW Government did not like bringing in this kind of legislation, it was "quite clear" over the past few days that people had been "blatantly ignoring" the law".

Over the weekend, scenes of thousands flocking to sunbathe in close proximity on Bondi Beach were slammed globally, leading to beaches along the NSW being closed if they exceed 500 people at a time.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller agreed that the extreme circumstances of the global pandemic called for a stronger response from law enforcement.

"This health crisis is like nothing we have ever experienced," he said.

"I'm encouraged that most members of the community are taking this issue seriously and are adhering to the government advice.

"However, disturbingly, our officers have already responded to dozens of reports of breaches of ministerial directions from members of the community.

"This is astounding, and incredibly disappointing, as these people are putting themselves and the wider community at an unacceptable risk."

Today, confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW passed 1,000.

The potentially deadly disease has infected more than 2300 Australians - most of them in NSW - and killed eight people, forcing the Federal Government to take increasingly drastic measures to help slow the virus outbreak.

Last night, Mr Morrison announced house parties, barbecues, birthdays and a host of leisure activities will be banned from midnight tonight as Australia moves to the next stage of the fight against coronavirus.





Originally published as $1000 fine for ignoring isolating rules

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