News This is what is happening to enforce coronavirus lockdowns around the country
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This is what is happening to enforce coronavirus lockdowns around the country

State and Territories are implementing fines and jail for non-compliance of health restrictions. Photo: AP
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Around the country, most Australians are staying home to stay alive.

They are keeping 1.5 metres away from those they don’t live with and avoiding public gatherings.

Aussies coming home from overseas are holing up in hotels around the country.

Although most of us are bunkering down in an effort to “flatten the curve”, some people are not taking the guidelines seriously. As a result, they are putting us all at risk.

In part, this has been fuelled by confusing instructions from the Australian government and health officials. The 30-minute haircut, and its subsequent reversal, a key example of mixed-messaging.

The states and territories are now rushing to police gatherings and quarantines.

They have rolled out big fines and jail time for those who do not comply and are putting extra blue boots on the ground in certain cities.

Here is what is happening around the country.

New South Wales

coronavirus aged care
Sydneysiders will be fined for breaching self-isolation requests.

People and businesses will face jail time and hefty fines if they fail to comply with mass-gathering bans.

On Wednesday, NSW Police Minister David Elliott announced the measures, saying individuals would be given fines of $1000 and corporations $5000 for breaches.

These penalties also apply to those found not following self-isolation rules.

Breaching a public health order will leave you up to $11,000 out of pocket, or six-months jail time.

Last week a 65-year-old woman from the Hunter region who returned from Bali was slapped with $1000 fine after defying self-isolation orders.

The owner of a Sydney massage parlour also felt the sting, after being fined $5000 for operating after being ordered to close. Three staff members were fined $1000 each.

To enforce these new measures, Sydney will be flooded with police during the lockdown.

Victoria

On Saturday morning Victoria followed suit, also introducing fines for businesses and individuals who break operating or isolation orders.

Individuals will be smacked with a $1600 fine, and businesses $10,000 for breaching the state’s new restrictions on freedoms.

“I hope we don’t have to fine anybody,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Saturday morning.

“I hope we don’t have to go to these levels of enforcement. But giving people these sorts of powers is very important.

“Follow the rules, do the right thing, keep your distance, stay at home. That is the key message. And if you’re flouting those rules, you’ll be punished.”

Breaching a public health order carries a maximum penalty of $20,000 in the state.

Queensland

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) and Minister for Education Grace Grace address the press.

Queensland police have launched a crackdown on people flouting the health regulations and are armed with the ability to hand out fines of up to $1334.50 for individuals and $6672.50 for businesses.

If a person does not comply with the quarantine directions, penalties of up to $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 can be doled out.

Emergencies officers have also been given the power to direct businesses, like supermarkets, to open and close.

Non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people have been banned.

Queensland Police announced last week they would start monitoring crowd numbers in the state’s party precincts to ensure they adhere to the new rules.

Revellers have also been asked to limit their attendance at venues to less than two hours’ duration.

Tasmania

On Friday Premier Peter Gutwein announced fines of up to $16,800 for people gathering in groups over 10, both in public or private.

“Stay home, unless you are going to work or school or to get supplies, stay at home,” Mr Gutwein told reporters.

“No camping, no parties, no picnics. Don’t have barbecues with your mates or a booze-up in the park.

“It’s not on. The message is clear. Unless you need to go to work unless you need to go out to get supplies, stay at home and save lives.”

Exceptions have been made for families with over 10 people.

The maximum penalty for defying a public health order in Tasmania is $8400.

South Australia

On Saturday it was announced that South Australians who gather in groups more than 10, face on-the-spot fines of up to $1000.

Businesses who flout the rule face fines of up to $5000.

Breaching a public health order can result in fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and up to $75,000 for businesses.

Individuals who failed to adhere to self-isolation restrictions could be hit with a $1000 fine.

Announcing the bans, Premier Steven Marshall said they were “not optional.”

“We are only as strong as our weakest link,” he said.

“Everyone needs to understand that from today failure to follow the directions to the letter of the law will leave individuals and businesses liable for significant on-the-spot fines.”

Western Australia

The Western Australian government is currently mulling over on-the-spot fines, but no decision of they will implement them has been made public.

The state has closed its borders to the rest of the country and the government is considering subdividing the large state to restrict further travel.

Northern Territory

Like Tasmania, WA, SA and QLD, the Northern Territory has closed its borders to the rest of the country.

Non-essential sisters to the state are forced to quarantine for 14-days on entry. The penalty for noncompliance is a fine of up to $62,800.

They will also face six months in jail.

Police are conducting random checks to ensure self-isolation is enforced.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT will be issuing fines of up to $8000 for individuals and $40,500 for businesses who do not adhere to directions on self-isolation and business closure

If the business is a utility company, the fine jumps to $1,620,000.

Access Canberra, the territories government shop-front, said it would be working with businesses to make sure they closed.

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