Australians Can Be Fined Up To $50,000 If They Don't Self-Isolate From Coronavirus
Some Australian states have unveiled the strict punishments that can follow if a person doesn't self-isolate from the coronavirus.
New South Wales and Western Australia have public health legislation that could see someone locked up for conduct that is 'likely to cause a serious public health risk'. Sentences can range up to six months in NSW and the Northern Territory and one year in WA.
People can also be hit with a hefty financial penalty if they choose to flout the law.
People in New South Wales will be fined up to $11,000 for not self-isolating, $13,000 in Queensland, $20,000 in Victoria, $25,000 in South Australia and a whopping $50,000 for Western Australia.
Police in NSW have been given powers to enforce a quarantine and, according to 7News, have already been called to one person not following the guidelines.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "I want to assure all our citizens that our Health Minister, through the Public Health Act, has the ability to enforce those provisions.
"We really need people to step up as well and to follow instructions. Because there's no chance we're going to be able to monitor every single person that gets off a plane for the next two weeks. It's not going to be possible.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined the severity of breaking these laws while explaining the need for every Australian to self-isolate if they return from an overseas trip.
"If your mate has been to Bali, and they come to work and sit next to you, they'll be committing an offence," he said.
"This is very important, what we've seen in recent weeks is more countries having issues with the virus and that means the source of some of those transmissions are coming from more and more countries.
"We know that the virus cannot be absolutely stopped - no one can do that - but we can slow the spread.
"And we anticipate that will be our task over the next six months."
The ruling came into effect at midnight this morning, meaning any Aussie coming through airports from today will have to take themselves home for two weeks, regardless of whether they've been to Covid-19 hotspots like Italy or China.
The time period is higher for people on cruise ships, with those travellers now not able to dock in an Australian port for 30 days.
People coming home from an international trip have previously been told to self-isolate only if they have Covid-19 symptoms like a fever or a dry cough.
More than 300 people have contracted the virus in Australia so far and the government wants to ensure they are doing all they can to stop the virus from spreading.
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