Australians who flout compulsory 14-day coronavirus quarantine when they enter the country face huge fines and JAIL time
- International arrivals to Australia will be asked to sign an agreement to isolate
- Each new international arrival will be required to self-isolate for at least 14-days
- Anyone found ignoring the quarantine agreement could face fines and jail
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International arrivals could face hefty fines and even jail time if they ignore the compulsory 14-day quarantine after arriving in Australia.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that from midnight all people coming to Australia will have to self-isolate for two weeks, with the states to use existing laws to enforce the measure to combat the coronavirus.
‘It’s a matter for state authorities as to what penalties they place on that (ignoring quarantine),’ Mr Morrison said.
People arriving into Australia on international flights will be required to go into 14-day quarantine and if they are found to be flouting the lock-down they could face huge fines and jail
In NSW people who are caught flouting the compulsory quarantine face fines of $11,000 and six months jail.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said police will have the powers to use existing laws against those who break the quarantine.
‘I want to assure all our citizens that our Health Minister, through the Public Health Act, has the ability to enforce those provisions,’ she told The Sydney Morning Herald.
‘We currently have enough laws in places but gazetting them in the right way to provide certainty is what is important to us.’
Each state and territory will stipulate the penalties however some states will apply the rules under existing Emergency Management Acts which carry large fines and jail time
In Queensland people ignoring quarantine will be dealt with under the public health emergency law, The Australian reported.
Non-compliance of the law results in a fine of up to $13,000.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said police would be conducting random checks to enforce quarantine.
‘I know these may seem tough measures, but we have your families’ interests at heart and I really need everyone to comply with this in the coming weeks and months ahead,’ she said.
Residents caught in South Australia can face a fine of up to $25,000.
Meanwhile in Western Australia residents can face fines up to $50,000 or 12 months jail under the Public Health Act and the Emergency Management Act.
Mr Morrison has even encouraged people to ‘dob in’ anyone they know who is flouting the 14-day quarantine order.
‘It’s legal enforcement, that will be the change,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘If your mate has been to Bali and they come back and they turn up at work, they will be committing an offence so I think it’s up to all of us that we are ensuring it is in place.’
Scott Morrison explains the scenario modelling of coronarvirus outbreak. Officials are hoping to flatten the curve to ensure the health system is not overwhelmed
People are seen dressing in personal protective equipment outside the international departures terminal at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne
The prime minister also announced cruise ships will be banned from docking in Australian ports for at least 30 days.
‘This is very important. What we have seen in recent weeks is more countries having issues with the virus and that means that the source of some of those transitions are coming – transmissions are coming from those countries,’ he said.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 298
New South Wales: 134
South Australia: 20
Western Australia: 18
Northern Territory: 1
Australian Capital Territory: 1
TOTAL CASES: 298
The forced isolation for international comes after New Zealand imposed the same restrictions last week.
From Monday, gatherings of more than 500 people have been banned.
Limitations on large gatherings in enclosed areas such as theatres are expected to be made later in the week.
Mr Morrison said the measures were to restrict social interactions and lower the risk of widespread outbreak.
‘There will be no more handshakes…which was something that was not needed a few weeks ago. It is a precautionary step,’ he said.
‘There will be further intrusions and there will be further restrictions on people’s movements.’
Mr Morrison said the measures were to slow the spread of the deadly illness over the next six month to ease the pressure on the health system.
The drastic measures come as the number of confirmed cases in Australia climbs to almost 300