Anyone Who Breaks New Social Distancing Laws In NSW Face Six Months In Jail Or $11,000 Fine
| Last updated
Laws have been bolstered in New South Wales (NSW) to ensure no one risks interacting with friends or loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
People can now be fined up to $11,000 or face six months in jail if they're caught outside their home without a reasonable excuse.
They can also be fined $5,500 for each day the offence continues.
Corporations can be penalised with a $55,000 initial fine and $27,500 for each day the offence continues.
In total, the NSW government has outlined 16 reasons that permit you being outside, which include attending a wedding or funeral, moving house, donating blood, undertaking legal obligations, accessing public services like as Centrelink and providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person.
The other exemptions can be found here.
But out of the 16 exemptions, there are four main reasons why people would be outside:
- Shopping for what you need - "food and other essential supplies that enable you to remain at home and to do that shopping as infrequently as possible"
- Seeking medical care or compassionate needs
- To exercise
- For work or education that you cannot do remotely at home.
If you are outside your home for any other reason then you risk jail time or a very, very hefty fine.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "If you can work from home you should, if you can learn from home, you should. If you can do everything from home, you should. It is only in the exceptional circumstances that you should leave home."
The NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement Order 2020) has been introduced to send a clear message to people that the NSW government is taking the pandemic very seriously.
It is modelled off the national restrictions of no gatherings of more than two people, which were announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday (March 29).
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the updated ruling appears to only focus on outdoor gatherings.
That means going to the beach or even picking a spot to tan outside, regardless of whether you're by yourself or with one other person, is now an offence.
Indoor gatherings of more than two people (not including your housemates or your family) can still attract a $1,000 on-the-spot fine if you're caught.
That means having your best mate and their partner over for dinner or drinks has to be cancelled.
Australia has more than 4,200 cases of coronavirus, with NSW being the leading state for patients.