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Forget a warning: Cops will be handing out fines for breaking Sydney’s Covid restrictions

New South Wales police have warned they will take an uncompromising approach to imposing fines on those not wearing masks and otherwise breaking Sydney’s new Covid restrictions.

The government has imposed an array of restriction as the number of positive cases across the city reached 36 on Thursday, including a government minister.

NSW Police said they had issued 150 cautions to people for not wearing masks on public transport and indoor public places since those restrictions were reimposed on Wednesday, but said they will not remain so forgiving as school holidays begin on Friday.

New South Wales police have warned those caught breaking Sydney’s Covid restrictions will be fined, with increased police patrols during the school holidays

 ‘Those people will be spoken to by police and will be issued with a penalty notice rather than given the option of a caution,’ NSW Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Thursday. 

He said everyone must obey restrictions on travel for Sydney residents and said traffic and highway patrol ‘will be out there enforcing that’. 

‘As we move into the school holidays, people need to understand if they choose to go outside the order and drive to a location, whether that is down to the snow or whether that’s up the coast, down the south coast, out west.’

‘If people choose to go outside the order and drive to a location, whether that is down the snow or up the coast, down the south coast, out west, traffic and highway patrol are well aware of the order and what it says to people and what it commands them to do, and police will be out there enforcing that part of the activity,’ the deputy commissioner said. 

What are the new Covid restrictions for Greater Sydney? 

Until July 1, restrictions will apply in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

Restrictions include:

– Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests (including children)

– Masks will be compulsory in all indoor public spaces (including workplaces) and at organised outdoor events

– Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed

– Dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people)

– Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn)

– Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs

– Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed

– The 1 person per 4sqm rule will apply to all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals

– Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity

– Public transport capacity limits will apply, representing by the green dots

– If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.

MASK EXEMPTIONS

A person may remove their mask if they are:

– eating or drinking

– communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing

– at work and the nature of the work makes the wearing of a fitted face covering a risk to the person’s, or another persons’ health and safety, or where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential

– asked to remove their mask for identity purposes

– in an emergency situation

– when the removal of a face mask is necessary for the provision of a good or service e.g. a facial or a beard trim

– Children 12 years and under, are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.

– You are not required to wear a mask if you have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable. For example, if you have a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma, you are not required to wear a mask

– If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you may wish to ask your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming this. However, this is not a requirement under the public health order.

  Source: NSW Health

Covid cases are on the rise in Sydney (pictured, a couple in mandatory masks in Manly)

Covid cases are on the rise in Sydney (pictured, a couple in mandatory masks in Manly)

Fines for not wearing a securely-fitting mask in Sydney on public transport and at non-residential indoor settings - including workplaces - are $200

Fines for not wearing a securely-fitting mask in Sydney on public transport and at non-residential indoor settings – including workplaces – are $200

New South Wales has recorded 11 new local cases of Covid-19 overnight. Commuters pictured wearing face masks on a train platform at Central Station on Wednesday

New South Wales has recorded 11 new local cases of Covid-19 overnight. Commuters pictured wearing face masks on a train platform at Central Station on Wednesday

NSW Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Thursday that police will also be operating on public transport and in and around cafes, pubs and clubs, ‘making sure people comply’ with the mask edict and other restrictions. 

Fines for non-compliance of $200 can be issued for not wearing a securely-fitting mask.

The places masks must be worn include: shopping centres, supermarkets, public transport, cinemas and theatres, places of worship, beauty and hair salons, banks, spas, betting shops, gaming lounges and tattoo parlours.

Light rail cleaners are seen wiping down a tram in the Sydney CBD on Thursday. Fears are growing the virus may be spreading through multiple 'super-spreader' events after 11 cases were linked to a birthday party attended by 30 people in West Hoxton in Sydney's west

Light rail cleaners are seen wiping down a tram in the Sydney CBD on Thursday. Fears are growing the virus may be spreading through multiple ‘super-spreader’ events after 11 cases were linked to a birthday party attended by 30 people in West Hoxton in Sydney’s west

Masks must be worn at shopping centres and in supermarkets in Sydney under the new rules

Masks must be worn at shopping centres and in supermarkets in Sydney under the new rules

If you don’t have a ‘lawful reason’ – such as a physical or mental health condition – for not wearing a mask you can be fined, though under the public health order documentary evidence of an exemption is not required.

NSW public health orders state that bandanas and or scarves are not sufficient. 

Spitting and coughing deliberately in Sydney can earn you a fine of $5000. 

Maximum fines for breaching other public health orders relevant to Covid restrictions – such as traveling without an acceptable reason – are much higher. 

NSW public health orders state ‘a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months and/or a penalty of up to $11,000’ can be applicable.

With requirements for people to wear masks in the workplace, corporations that fail to comply with a direction are liable to a fine of $55,000.

Those who live and work in seven hotspot suburbs will not be allowed to leave metropolitan Sydney unless they have an essential reason

Those who live and work in seven hotspot suburbs will not be allowed to leave metropolitan Sydney unless they have an essential reason

People living or working in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra, cannot move outside the Sydney metropolitan area unless it’s essential.

Restrictions are also in place in the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Shellharbour regions.

They include the number of visitors to a household being limited to five guests including children at one time, and compulsory mask wearing in all indoor settings including workplaces.

The restrictions were introduced on Wednesday at 4pm and will last for a week, until July 1.

Deputy Commissioner Worboys told a press conference that NSW police are now moving into ‘much further into a compliance and enforcement regime around the order rather than a simple education response to people’.

The new Covid restrictions make it against the law to sing at concerts and places of worship

The new Covid restrictions make it against the law to sing at concerts and places of worship

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