'Do the right thing': Warning about the serious consequences if you don't self-isolate

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

As the number of coronavirus cases continue to soar in Australia, Scott Morrison has warned the time of “voluntary” self-isolation was over.

Anyone found not to be in self-isolation when instructed to do so will be committing a crime, the prime minister said on Sunday as he revealed even stricter travel restrictions.

Mr Morrison announced anyone arriving from overseas in Australia must undergo self-isolation for 14 days.

"If your mate has been to Bali and they come back and they turn up at work and they are sitting next to you, they will be committing an offence," he explained.

And that offence comes with hefty penalties across Australia’s states and territories.

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Queensland to perform random self-isolation checks

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned that those failing to follow orders could face a fine of $13,345.

"In relation to legislation around that... it's under our Public Health Emergency Act," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the state’s police would be performing random checks to ensure people are complying with the notice.

Her warning came as Queensland had its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, taking the number of people detected with the COVID-19 to 61.

Those not complying in NSW could go to jail

In NSW, where 134 of Australia’s confirmed cases have occurred, the fine for failing to comply with the Public Health Act was $11,000 while NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said offenders could also face six months’ imprisonment.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced NSW Police will also be enforcing the restrictions while urging people to report others they believe to be breaching the rules.

"We can't pretend that it is business-as-usual, because it's not,” she told reporters.

All passengers arriving from overseas must now self-isolate for 14 days. Pictured is man returning to Sydney earlier this year. Source: Getty

Time in prison is also a possibility in WA, with those ignoring a public health order facing 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine of $50,000.

However the strict punishments aren’t handed out lightly with state governments insisting the punishments will only be applied once compliance becomes an issue for an individual.

Potential $20K fine for not self-isolating in Victoria

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews revealed the potential fine sits at $20,000.

"It'd be very unwise ... to be subject to this quarantine and not do the right thing," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday.

"Not only are you putting the health of your loved ones and every family across Victoria at risk, but you're also breaking the law."

"I think common sense, and that sense that we're all in this together will drive people to do the right thing."

The state currently has 71 confirmed cases.

In South Australia the fine for breaching a public health order is $25,000 and is $8,400 in Tasmania.

The death toll for coronavirus in Australia currently sits at five however, that number is expected to drastically rise, with predictions from experts saying anywhere from 20 per cent to 100 per cent of the population will contract thee virus.

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