NSW Police have doled out the first $9000 in on-the-spot fines to individuals and businesses found to have contravened public health orders relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), with a massage parlour owner, three workers, and a recently-returned traveler all landing hefty penalties.
In a statement, NSW Police said officers charged with enforcing strict new business shutdown measures yesterday encountered an open massage parlour in the Sydney CBD.
Massage parlours and beauty therapy businesses have been ordered by the Federal Government to shut their doors an attempt to slow the pandemic’s impact on the Australian community.
The owner copped a $5000 Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) for the breach, while three employees each landed a $1000 PIN.
Separately, NSW Police say a 65-year-old woman who returned from Bali on March 21 received a $1000 PIN after breaching her mandated 14-day isolation period.
Authorities say the woman, who was previously warned after allegedly violating the directive to stay home, was found to have left her home yesterday morning. Officers issued her the PIN in the afternoon.
The fines mark the first raft of financial punishments in the state for those found to be in breach of recent directives, and come amid serious concern for the virus’ spread through the state.
Speaking on Wednesday after receiving community reports of individuals allegedly breaching the new orders, NSW Police Minister David Elliott said “This is astounding, and incredibly disappointing, as these people are putting themselves and the wider community at an unacceptable risk.”
Of course, you’d hope the concept of being financially punished for breaching one of those orders would pale in comparison to the idea of unknowingly exacerbating the virus’ spread across the state, but hey.
As of this morning, NSW has recorded 1,405 cases of the virus, up 186 from yesterday. Nationwide, 13 people have died as a result of the pandemic.
If you think you may have coronavirus, either call your doctor (DON’T visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you’re struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
And please remember to wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and keep at least 1.5 metres between you and those around you.Image: NurPhoto / Getty Image