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NSW Police to hand out $5000 fines for breaching COVID-19 restrictions

The NSW Police Force have outlined serious measures against anyone neglecting the government’s new social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police Minister, David Elliot, has said that individuals may face on-the-spot fines of up to $1000 for breaches. Businesses, meanwhile, can be served with a fine of up to $5000.

The NSW Police have announced fines of up to $5000 for social distancing breaches during the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, a jail term of 6 months can be implemented in more serious cases.

The measures keep in line with the 2010 Public Health Act, which – after recent amendment – permit the issue of Penalty Infringement Notices for anyone acting in contravention of ministerial direction.

The official regulations are consistently being updated, it is therefore important to remain aware of them on a daily basis.

Currently, social gatherings are limited to a maximum of ten people, while a personal distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained at all times in public spaces. Meanwhile, a maximum of five attendees are permitted at weddings. Prime Minister Scott Morrison identified weddings and funerals as “major transmitting events” in a statement on Wednesday this week.

Additionally, police will be increasing patrols in various communities in an effort to control infringements. A statement from Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller reads, “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.”

The extremely volatile nature of the coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult to regulate. However, the government has received criticism for its communication with the public. This is largely due to the lack of a widespread, multimodal media campaign that spreads official advice. Consequently, policing measures such as this may result in a series of punishments on a drastically under-informed public. It is therefore recommended to stay up to date on government advice through whatever means necessary.