SA’s new fines for breaking virus rules | The Canberra Times

SA's new fines for breaking virus rules | The Canberra Times

news, national

South Australians who breach self-isolation or quarantine orders will be slapped with a $1000 on-the-spot fine under new regulations designed to stop the spread of coronavirus. Fines of $5000 can also be imposed on businesses that breach the current rules. It comes as the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases rose by 30 on Saturday to 287. Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said while the vast majority of people were doing the right thing, some were not complying. “This will send a very strong message that people who don’t comply will face a stiff penalty,” he said. “The principal objective here is to ensure that people who are required to self-quarantine, who we believe are at risk of spreading the infection, comply with those obligations.” Before the new rules, police could take action against those flouting the rules but were required to launch a formal prosecution and take the matter to court. Gatherings of more than 10 people have also been banned in the state, while the government has closed emergency departments at country hospitals where they are co-located with aged-care facilities. Commissioner Stevens said he appreciated that things were changing rapidly. “We would hope that people appreciate the dynamic nature of this incident that we’re dealing with,” he said. “These are unique and unprecedented circumstances. We are writing the rules for this thing every single day.” Of the virus patients in hospital, five were still in intensive care and three of those were listed as critical. The vast majority of SA’s cases are linked to people who had travelled interstate or overseas or were close contacts of other cases. Australian Associated Press

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