A 27-year-old man and 32-year-old woman fined in Muswellbrook for breaching Public Health Act

A MAN and a woman in Muswellbrook were among those who breached the Public Health Act in the past 24 hours.

NSW Police recently received the power to issue $1000 on-the-spot fines, or Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs), to people caught flouting self-isolation or social distancing requirements in the state during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The pair was spotted sitting in a car in Scott Street on Wednesday, April 1.

Following inquiries, officers attached to Hunter Valley Police District found neither the 32-year-old woman nor the 27-year-old man had a reasonable excuse not to be at home.

They were then fined accordingly.

"The police need to stand up and say the community have to take this seriously, or more people will be affected and this virus could run on for many, many more months," Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

A total of 13 PINs were issued throughout NSW on April 1 in relation to alleged breaches of the Public Health Act:

Other individual infringements included:

  • Just after midnight (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police were patrolling Artarmon when they saw two men standing together on the Princes Highway. It's alleged that as officers approached, one of the men ran - but was chased and eventually stopped by police. Both men gave varying accounts about why they were out, however neither satisfied the requirements stipulated by the Public Health Order. The men - aged 19 and 24 - were searched, issued with infringement notices and moved on.
  • About 1.30am yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), officers attached to New England Police District stopped a vehicle on Adelaide Street, Moree, for the purposes of a roadside breath test. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, was unable to provide a reasonable excuse for leaving her home in Coonamble and was issued with a penalty infringement notice.
  • About 1.30am yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police stopped a car in Coonamble containing five people and gave them a verbal warning about social distancing, public gatherings and non-essential travel. It will be alleged that at 8.45am the same morning, one of the occupants of the vehicle - a 21-year-old woman - was spotted by officers walking around Coonamble without a legitimate excuse. She was issued with an infringement notice.
  • Yesterday about 3.15am (Wednesday 1 April 2020) officers from Orana Mid-Western Police District fined a 23-year-old man for not comply with noticed direction (Section 7/8/9 - COVID-19). The man was given a warning by police the previous evening, before being caught leaving his home a second time without a reasonable excuse.
  • About 9.15am on Friday 20 March 2020, a 28-year-old man arrived in Australia from New Zealand, with two travel companions and was informed of his obligations to enter a 14-day self-isolation period in his home due to COVID-19. About 10.30am yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), officers attached to Riverina Police District attended the man's registered address in Gundagai to conduct a welfare and compliance check. The man was not home and was later stopped by police driving his vehicle on Sheridan Street. For failing to self-quarantine, the man was issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice.
  • About 4pm (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police saw two men sitting together at Caseys Beach Reserve, Batehaven, drinking alcohol. When officers spoke with the pair, it's alleged they became abusive and claimed they were exercising. One of the men, aged 41, was charged with an unrelated offence and issued an infringement notice in relation to breaching a Public Health Order. The other 44-year-old man was issued an infringement notice, searched and moved on from the area.
  • Just before 6pm (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police attended a single vehicle crash on Union Road, Lavington. The car's only occupant - a 51-year-old man - was not injured, but allegedly told police he had left his home in order to visit his drug dealer. The man was arrested and taken to hospital for blood and urine testing. Checks revealed he was disqualified from driving. He was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for driving whilst disqualified (2nd+ offence) and given an infringement notice for contravening a Public Health Order.
  • Yesterday, a 21-year-old man ignored two warnings to be fined $1000 for failing to comply with Ministerial directions under the Public Health Act. Officers attached to Newcastle City Police District found the man for the third time that day (Wednesday 1 April 2020), on Market St eating a kebab on a bench.