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Police say NSW coronavirus lockdown measures will last for 90 days

NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller has said that the current coronavirus lockdown laws will remain in effect for 90 days.

The laws were imposed last week, with a maximum penalty consisting of an $11,000 fine and a 6-month jail term for anyone who ignores them.

coronavirus, lockdown, NSW

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has revealed that the coronavirus lockdown laws are set to remain in place for the next 90 days.

Currently, it’s only permissible to leave the house for 16 specific reasons. These include work and study commitments (if you’re unable to fulfil these remotely), medical appointments, and shopping for essential items. Outdoor exercise is also permitted, but must be limited to a maximum of two people per-group. Standard social distancing requirements of 1.5 metres should be respected during these times.

Commissioner Fuller said, at this stage, the end-date for the measures will be 3 months down the line.

“When is the turn-off period for these health orders? It is 90 days,” he said. “People will have gotten the message by then, hopefully.”

The policing measures have faced criticism since their announcement, with commentators arguing that they highlight both the State and Federal Governments’ failure to offer accessible and clear communication to the Australian population. In the midst of a global pandemic, the onus appears to lie more on the public than officials in keeping up-to-date with current requirements.

Additionally, the measures have presented problems for people suffering from domestic violence, or similar turmoil. Whilst fleeing from an unsafe home has been deemed as a reasonable excuse for being outside, it remains unclear what kind of support exists following the implementation of the new measures. Similarly, the extent to which homelessness will be policed under these parameters is unclear. Enforcement will largely be left up to the discretion of police officers.

Fines can be contested through existing methods, although not all states have outlined how this will be handled specifically. Further information on how to lodge an appeal can be found via your state or territory’s official Government website.

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April 2, 2020