NSW will be upping its police presence with 14,000 officers across the state now on ‘COVID duty’ to check citizens are complying with new restrictions and guidelines. The news comes following 466 new cases over night with 87 infectious while in the community.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said while the vast majority of people are doing the right thing, those who aren’t, are putting the community and their loved ones at risk. To ensure people comply with new restrictions, Berejiklian is putting orders in place to inhibit movement across the state. Police will have increased powers to deliver on the spot fines and army and police presence will increase as the premier says “this is the most concerning day” of the outbreak.
“The increased fines and heightened police presence are about ensuring people who are doing the wrong thing are caught and punished appropriately,” Berejiklian said.
5km rule enacted
Greater Sydney citizens will now be limited to travel and exercise within their local government area or a maximum of 5kms from their home. The rule applies to the Greater Sydney region including Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shoalhaven. From midnight Sunday, police will enact ‘Operation Stay at Home’ to further restrict movement across NSW. Police Commissioner Mick Fuller suggested police would be cracking down on those people doing the wrong thing and excuses would no longer be acceptable.
There will now be a number of penalties to ensure people comply, including a $3000 on the spot fine for anyone breaching the two-person exercise rules.
Permits for entry to regional areas
Further to this, in effect from next Saturday (August 21), people from Greater Sydney will need a permit to go into regional areas. However, police will commence monitoring the roads this weekend to ensure people are only travelling to regional areas for permitted reasons. On the spot fines of $5000 will now be handed down from tomorrow – lying on a permit will also cop the same penalty.
At the request of the police commissioner, a further 500 members of the Australian Defence Force will also be on the ground in NSW to assist NSW Police with compliance, adding to the 300 already assisting police efforts.
Single bubble? You better register
If you are single and want to create a single bubble – you must now register your single bubble buddy, from 12.01 am Saturday 21 August. This ‘buddy’ must live within 5km of you. Registration will be made available on nsw.gov.au.
Protestors will be dealt with by police
Commissioner Fuller also warned anyone considering attending a protest in the coming week to rethink their actions.
“There is a potential worldwide protest coming up and I would say to anyone again who thinks about turning up – that if you thought the police response was big weeks ago, it will be much bigger this time.”
Vaccinations only way out of the outbreak
The premier says less mobility, compliance and vaccination are essential to getting out of lockdown and restrictions easing.
“Vaccination is our key to getting out of lockdown. Getting vaccination rates up keeps people out of the hospital and will allow us to get back to normal,” said Berejiklian.
“I think for some time we thought Australia was different to the rest of the world, but it’s not,” the premier said. “I have faith in NSW. We will get through this. By October we will have 70 per cent vaccinated and by mid-November we will have 80 per cent. But September and October will be difficult.
“It is very important for us to acknowledge and accept that vaccination is key – this is literally a war,” Berejiklian concluded.
The new fines and restrictions
Increased fines for Public Health Order breaches (from 12.01am, Monday, 16 August):
- $5,000 on the spot fine for breaching self-isolation rules;
- $5,000 on the spot fine for lying on a permit (already a criminal offence);
- $5,000 on the spot fine for lying to a contact tracer (already a criminal offence);
- $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching the two person outdoor exercise/recreation rule; and
- $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching rules around entry into regional NSW for authorised work, inspecting real estate and travelling to your second home.
Permit system to enter regional NSW (from 12.01am, Saturday, 21 August):
- Any person who wishes to travel to regional NSW for one of the following reasons must have a permit which will be made available on Service NSW.
- authorised workers from LGAs of concern;
- Inspecting real estate. Any person inspecting real estate in the regions must now genuinely need a home to live in (no investment properties); and
- Travelling to your second home. This is now only allowed if you are using the home for work accommodation or if the home requires urgent maintenance and repairs (if so, only one person may travel there).
This post originally appeared on Kochie’s Business Builders, you can read the original here.
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