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Coronavirus Restrictions Cost $11k

03 April 2020 by News Desk

Coronavirus Restrictions in Australia include six months in jail and/or $11,000 fine for leaving home without a ‘reasonable excuse’

The Aussie government’s public health order gives police sweeping power to enforce the latest round of coronavirus restrictions

Residents in NSW who leave their house without a “reasonable excuse” could spend up to six months in prison and face an $11,000 fine under an emergency ministerial directive.

The public health order gives police sweeping power to enforce the latest round of restrictions designed to limit the spread of coronavirus in Australia.

The NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement Order 2020) makes it unlawful to leave your place of residence except “to obtain food or other goods and services”, work and education that cannot be done from home, exercise, medical or caring reasons, and a limited number of other reasons.

It also bans gatherings of more than two people in public places, unless those people are members of the same household, or the gatherings are “essential for work or education”. Unlike the order in Victoria, the NSW order does not appear to explicitly ban gatherings in people’s residences.

Coronavirus Restrictions

Under the Public Health Act, individuals can be fined up to $11,000 or sent to prison for six months – or both – for breaching these ministerial directives. They can also be fined another $5500 for each day the offence continues.

Corporations that fail to comply are liable for a $55,000 initial fine and $27,500 for each day the offence continues.

A total of 16 “excuses” for leaving the home are contained in Schedule 1 of the order, including to attend weddings and funerals, which are limited to five and 10 people respectively.

Other “excuses” include moving house, donating blood, undertaking legal obligations and accessing public services such as Centrelink and domestic violence services.

Contact between parents and children or siblings who do not live together will also be regarded as a reasonable excuse. Priests and other ministers will still be allowed to go to their place of worship or provide pastoral care.

The order specifically states: “Taking a holiday in a regional area is not a reasonable excuse.”

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