Coronavirus: $1000 on the spot fine if you don't self isolate

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

NSW Police have been given new powers to penalise anyone not following coronavirus prevention measures.

On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a wave of new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, including restricting the number of people at weddings and funerals, along with the closure of galleries and swimming pools.

There are also restrictions on cafes and restaurants, which can only do takeaway orders.

Mr Morrison stressed the importance of social distancing and said groups of 10 or more people in public was now advised against.

These will come into effect midnight Wednesday.

Mounted Police patrol Bondi Beach as all eastern suburbs beaches are closed.
Police patrol Bondi Beach after it was closed on the weekend. Source: Getty Images

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On Wednesday, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced new police powers available to officers to enforce social distancing and stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Anyone found not going into isolation for 14 days after returning from overseas, not quarantining after being found to have COVID-19, being involved in a mass social gathering or contravening any other restriction could be hit with a $1000 on the spot fine.

Businesses face being slapped with a $5000 fine for violating the rules.

NSW Police said in a statement this is already on top of officers being able to issue court attendance notices which carry a maximum $11,000 fine or six months in jail.

Two young women in face masks walk along a quiet Circular Quay in Sydney.
Two young women walk through Sydney's Circular Quay. Source: Getty Images

“This health crisis is like nothing we have ever experienced, with more than 1000 cases now confirmed in NSW, and the numbers continuing to grow,” Comm Fuller said.

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

Comm Fuller added “disturbingly” some police officers have responded to “dozens” of reports of people not following the directions.

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

“Our officers are conducting proactive patrols in every Police Area Command and Police District across the state, to add another layer of enforcement and ensure people in public places are sticking to the rules.

“These patrols also form part of our ongoing work with retailers, to ensure calm and fairness at the checkouts.”

Police walk through an empty Sydney Airport.
NSW Police patrol an empty Sydney Airport. Source: AAP

The following is a breakdown of what services will stay open to the public:

  • Supermarkets

  • Petrol stations

  • Pharmacies

  • Bottle shops

  • Retail stores

  • Hairdressers

  • Convenience stores

  • Freight and logistics

  • Takeaway and home delivery

  • Banks

  • Health and government services

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