Western Sydney partygoers face $60,000 in fines for breaking COVID-19 rules

Police officers wear face masks in Sydney.

A house party with more than 60 people has been broken up by police in western Sydney for breaching coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.

Police went to a home in Schofields about 11.30pm on Saturday after complaints of a noisy party and ended up using pepper spray when a brawl broke out inside the home involving 15 people.

Officers said they arrested 30 people for refusing to move on and they intend to issue up to 60 people with COVID-19-related infringement notices of $1000.

Gatherings are currently restricted to not more than 20 people in both outdoor settings and within a home.

Superintendent Donna McCarthy said police will not tolerate the people of NSW being put at risk.

“This is a very unfortunate situation for police to have to deal with … and it’s the opposite of what we would expect of our community,” Ms McCarthy told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

“We’ve been very clear, there’ll be no more warnings in relation to this.

“We will take action and we won’t tolerate the people of NSW being made unsafe.”

Those who refused police requests to move on will be slapped with an additional fine, Ms McCarthy said.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said those involved have put all of NSW at risk.

“Think about what you’ve just done – you’ve just put an entire state at risk, over eight million citizens at risk by doing that,” Mr Constance told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

“This is not a time for partying, we are in a very difficult circumstance as a nation and as a state.

“I just ask everybody, just cool your jets for a while, and let’s just get through this because if we follow the advice [that] is there to keep us safe.”

Residents in metropolitan Melbourne are subject to stay-at-home orders and can only leave home for essential work, study, exercise or care responsibilities. People are also advised to wear masks in public.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus 

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