Three removalists who allegedly knew they were infected with coronavirus before they drove out of southwest Sydney and visited towns in NSW could be jailed for six months.
The men aged 20, 27 and 27 allegedly travelled from West Hoxton in the Covid-ravaged Liverpool Local Government Area to Figtree in Wollongong, before stopping at several towns on their way to Molong, in the state’s central west.
Police caught up with the trio on Speedy Street in Molong at about 2.30pm on Friday after being notified that they had travelled from a Covid hotspot.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said they had been charged and face six months in jail and fines of $11,000 each.
Three removalists allegedly travelled across Sydney and regional NSW after being informed they had tested positive, they visited Figtree in Wollongong before travelling to Molong in Central west NSW (map above picturing the locations visited by the positive men)
The three are due to appear at Orange Court on August 30 after furious locals led police to them.
‘Those three gentlemen have been issued court attendance notices,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said at Sunday’s press conference.
‘I understand people from regional NSW and the Central West are absolutely angry with the behaviour of those three.
‘Despite the very best and strong health advice, they left Greater Sydney and at one point on the journey they were provided with strong advice from health and they continued on.
‘It is such that we need to make sure that we sent a very clear message and that is that $11,000 and/or six months in jail is now a penalty upon those three men.
‘The full arm of the law will come down hard, the justice system will come down hard. They will attend court and what will happen will be up to the justice system.’
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys (pictured) said the three removalists had been charged and face six months in jail and fines of $11,000 each.
Deputy Commissioner Warboys commiserated with people in regional NSW.
‘I know the people right across country NSW are digging in hard in the next two weeks and when people do what these three men did, it makes it really, really difficult for people to continue to put the efforts in that they do.
‘So people are angry about it. There is no doubt the behaviour is reckless and it is certainly very selfish.
‘This could actually put in jeopardy not just a community like Orange, but the Central West and put regional NSW where the health system would be completely swamped if we had an outbreak similar to Sydney.’
He added: ‘What I want to highlight is the maximum penalty that the court can impose is $11,000 and/or six months in jail.
‘We often talk about the $600 for a mask, $200 for a mask or $1000 for a personal infringement, but police found the behaviour from these three people to be particularly disturbing.’
NSW Police have vowed to continue cracking down on Sydneysiders who were letting down those trying to do the right thing
Police escorted the men and their vehicles back to Sydney, and have been told to isolate for 14 days before being issued Court Attendance Notices for breaching public health orders.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott slammed the removalists for their alleged disregard for the safety of others.
‘This thoughtless act has now placed our regional communities in NSW at the greatest risk so far with this pandemic,’ Mr Elliott said.
‘We know that the Delta variant is highly transmissible, and it is unfathomable to think that, with all the public information and health warnings, people could so blatantly ignore the health orders.’
Deputy Commissioner Worboys said the new restrictions introduced on July 17 will hopefully curb people’s behaviour.
‘Currently, we are seeing millions of people right across this state doing the right thing being let down by a small minority who continue to be irresponsible and put themselves and their communities at risk,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
‘Today’s strengthening of the health orders means that people will have to change the way that they behave.
The removalist were escorted back to Sydney and have been told to isolate for 14 days, and have been issued Court Attendance Notices for their blatant breach of public health orders (stock)
The vast majority of cases on Friday were in the Fairfield council area, in the city’s south west
‘The greater restrictions will see police ramping up our response across all of greater Sydney and regional areas to ensure people comply with the health orders and that public safety is the number one priority’.
In the past 24 hours police have issued 162 Penalty Infringement Notices and charged 18 people.
Four other incidents of note occurred across Sydney and regional NSW.
A woman is seen exercising in Sydney’s Centennial park on Saturday morning
A man feeds birds at Town Hall on July 17, 2021 in Sydney, Australia during third week of lockdown
A Mt Druitt man left his home to buy dumbbells in Blacktown, after being informed he had tested positive to Covid-19 at about 10.30pm on July 16. He was fined $1,000.
Two Central Coast men were stopped on the New England highway, south of Guyra, being issued $1,000 fines.
Two 27-year-old males were spotted travelling on the Pacific highway in Doyalson, and were both fined $1,000 as they don’t live in the same household or had a reasonable excuse to leave their homes.
A 60-year-old man travelled from Turramurra to Hawks Nest to sleep in his car. He was issued a $1,000 fine and directed to return home.
Everything you need to know about Sydney’s total shut down: Who can work, who can’t, where you can go and what’s closed
Stricter lockdown restrictions were imposed across Sydney and especially in the city’s southwest as Covid cases jumped to 111 on Saturday.
The new restrictions announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Saturday aimed to completely shut down the southwest Sydney epicentre of the outbreak.
Fairfield, Liverpool and Cantebury-Bankstown residents were to stay in their local councils.
Construction, large or small, will shut and homes and businesses cannot use paid cleaners or have home repairs done unless urgent
Only ‘critical retail’ such as supermarkets and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open from 11.59pm on Saturday. Others will have to do click and collect or takeaway.
Construction, large or small, will shut and homes and businesses cannot use paid cleaners or have home repairs done unless urgent.
There were no new rules for regional areas outside Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour, and the Central Coast.
Here is what the new rules are and which ones apply to you.
Sydney will now face its toughest-ever lockdown restrictions including the closure of non-critical retail, restrictions on the movements of people in three local government areas and a shut down of ‘non-urgent’ construction
Most shops will shut
The only shops that can stay open from 11.59pm on Saturday across Sydney are:
- Supermarkets and grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores, liquor stores and fishmongers)
- Stores that predominantly sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies
- Pharmacies and chemists
- Petrol stations, car hire
- Banks and financial institutions
- Hardware, nurseries and building supplies, agricultural and rural supplies
- Pet supplies;
- Post offices and newsagents, office supplies.
Everything else can offer click and collect services for goods ordered online or over the phone which customers can pick up or have delivered.
Ms Berejiklian previously insisted that it was not up to the government to determine was was ‘essential’, but has now backflipped.
Only ‘critical retail’ such as supermarkets and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open from 11.59pm on Saturday. Others will have to do click and collect or takeaway
Southwest Sydney ringfenced
The vast majority of the cases in the outbreak, more than 80 of Saturday’s numbers, are in southwest Sydney.
Ms Berejiklian now wants to quarantine them, and their 810,000 residents from the rest of Sydney, even if they are essential workers.
Residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local council cannot leave their LGA for work except for emergency services and healthcare workers, including aged and disability workers.
Where those workers do need to leave for work, they are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Is your suburb included?
Abbotsbury, Bonnyrigg, Bonnyrigg Heights, Bossley Park, Cabramatta, Cabramatta West, Canley Heights, Canley Vale, Carramar, Cecil Park (part), Edensor Park, Fairfield (part), Fairfield East, Fairfield Heights, Fairfield West, Greenfield Park, Horsley Park, Lansvale, Mount Pritchard (part), Old Guildford, Prairiewood, Smithfield (part), St Johns Park, Villawood (part), Wakeley, Wetherill Park and Yennora (part).
Liverpool City includes the suburbs and localities of Ashcroft, Austral, Badgerys Creek (part), Bringelly (part), Busby, Carnes Hill, Cartwright, Casula, Cecil Hills, Cecil Park (part), Chipping Norton, Denham Court (part), Edmondson Park, Elizabeth Hills, Greendale, Green Valley, Hammondville, Heckenberg, Hinchinbrook, Holsworthy (part), Horningsea Park, Hoxton Park, Kemps Creek (part), Len Waters Estate, Leppington (part), Liverpool, Luddenham (part), Lurnea, Middleton Grange, Miller, Moorebank, Mount Pritchard (part), Pleasure Point, Prestons, Rossmore (part), Sadleir, Silverdale (part), Voyager Point, Wallacia (part), Warwick Farm, Wattle Grove and West Hoxton.
Ashbury (part), Bankstown, Bankstown Aerodrome, Bass Hill, Belfield (part), Belmore, Beverly Hills (part), Birrong, Campsie, Canterbury, Chester Hill (part), Chullora, Clemton Park, Condell Park, Croydon Park (part), Earlwood, East Hills, Georges Hall, Greenacre (part), Hurlstone Park (part), Kingsgrove (part), Lakemba, Lansdowne, Milperra, Mount Lewis, Narwee (part), Padstow, Padstow Heights, Panania, Picnic Point, Potts Hill, Punchbowl, Regents Park (part), Revesby, Revesby Heights, Riverwood (part), Roselands, Sefton, Villawood (part), Wiley Park and Yagoona.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has closed down all ‘non-urgent’ construction until July 30 and also shut down home repairs and even paid cleaning services
Construction and maintenance halted
With everyone mostly locked inside their homes, the government wants to prevent outsiders coming into them, even for essential reasons.
From 12.01am on Monday, all construction to be paused and non-urgent maintenance, including cleaning services, and repair work on homes to be paused.
‘Where there are urgent requirements for electricity or water or other repairs, of course that will occur,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when you are working outdoors, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food
More mask restrictions
Anyone who leaves the home must have a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when you are working outdoors, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food.
‘No matter where you live in metropolitan Sydney, Greater Sydney, you must have a mask with you,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘Even if you are exercising with your household, you might change your mind, be in an outdoor market, get a coffee, you must have a mask.
‘If you are coming into contact with other people, you must have a mask.’
All carpooling to be stopped unless among members of the same household.
Work from home mandate expanded
Employers must allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so, failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $10,000.