Barnaby Joyce was reportedly issued a $200 fine for not wearing a mask while buying petrol, after a member of the public called the dob-in line Crime Stoppers. Incredible areas from Australia right now.
According to Nine News reporter Chris O’Keefe, the new Deputy Prime Minister of Australia was filling up at a service station in Armidale. Under the current rules, face masks are required at all non-residential indoor locations across NSW.
Joyce was inside for “less than a minute”, O’Keefe tweeted, but a member of the public recognised him and called Crime Stoppers.
NSW Police then apparently checked CCTV, confirmed Joyce broke the rules, and issued him with a $200 fine.
Barnaby Joyce has been issued a $200 fine by NSW Police for not wearing a mask while paying for petrol in Armidale. He was inside for less than a minute, spotted by a member of the public who called Crime Stoppers. Police went and checked CCTV and issued the fine. @9NewsAUS— Chris O'Keefe (@cokeefe9) June 29, 2021
“A man has been issued a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) after breaching an order under the Public Health Act in state’s north west yesterday,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.
“Officers from New England Police District attended a service station at Armidale after receiving a Crime Stoppers report in relation to a possible breach of Public Health Orders about 8am yesterday (Monday 28 June 2021).
“Inquiries revealed a 54-year-old man was not wearing a face mask while in the store.
“Police spoke with the man before issuing a $200 PIN for not wear fitted face covering when in indoor area of retail/business premises.”
While on the one hand, it’s very funny that someone dobbed in the deputy PM for floating the rules, it’s good that he’s being held to the same standard as everyone else.
The Delta variant – which is currently ripping through NSW, sending Greater Sydney into lockdown – doesn’t, in medical terms, fuck around. It’s the “most transmissible variant” of COVID-19 we’ve seen so far, according to WHO, and until we’re vaccinated, face masks are one of the best ways to stop the spread.
(Obviously, there’s nothing better than vaccination; just look at the 30-person house party where the only people who didn’t catch COVID were vaccinated. The good news is, Aussies under 40 are now able to book in with their GP to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine: here’s everything we know so far.)
The latest numbers aren’t great, but they’re not terrible, either. As of Tuesday morning, there were 19 new cases of community transmission, with just two of those cases unlinked. There were also 67,000 tests in a 24-hour period, which is absolutely huge. Keep getting tested, keep staying home.
UPDATE: Joyce issued this statement, according to The Guardian: “I went into the Caltex service station, I was going to the airport, filled the car up with fuel, went in, 30 seconds later $200 it cost me – because I didn’t wear one of these [a mask].”