First Fines Handed Out To Australians Breaking Self-Isolation Rules
The first fines for people breaking self-isolation rules have been handed out in Australia.
New South Wales (NSW) introduced tough measures for people who weren't adhering to the law, with on-the-spot fines of up to $1,000 for individuals and up to $5,000 for a business.
A woman who returned from Bali was told to self-isolate for 14 days to ensure she wasn't carrying the coronavirus.
Officers allege the Lake Macquarie woman broke the rule and police issued her with a warning.
7News reports the woman broke the rules again yesterday and has been given a $1,000 fine.
A massage parlour in Sydney's CBD was found to still be operating, despite a call from the federal government to shut down all non-essential services.
The owner of the business has been slapped with a $5,000 fine and three employees were given $1,000 fines as well.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott has warned there will be tens of thousands of officers doing random spot checks to ensure people are complying with the rules.
Mr Elliott said: "No-one is above the law.
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"If you decide to ignore a direction, you will be caught, and you may very well find yourself slapped with a hefty fine.
"This behaviour is not only reckless and stupid but potentially deadly.
"The fact that people are still not complying is the reason why we have police out in full force enforcing these directions."
It follows similar scenes in Victoria, where a dozen people weren't home when they were supposed to be self-isolating.
Police performed 88 spot checks on people who had recently returned from overseas, who must stay home for 14 days.
One person couldn't be found because they gave a wrong address and others who were eventually tracked down weren't aware of how serious the rule is.
Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said: "People can be issued with an official warning, directed to return home, or charged on summons where a person repeatedly refuses to obey a direction or blatantly disregards the restrictions. People can also face heavy fines.
"We are urging people to take the restrictions seriously and do the right thing - don't be selfish is our message.
"For police, it's not just about fines or arrests but ensuring everyone in the community understands the serious risks associated with coronavirus and the importance of complying with the directions from the Chief Health Officer.
"We know this is a challenging time for everyone and we'll be asking our officers to use a commonsense approach when dealing with these matters.
"Already we have seen a degree of ignorance where people think it's okay to just go out for a breakfast or to see a friend when it's absolutely not."
Featured Image Credit: PA