SAPOL to issue fines for COVID-19 rulebreakers

SAPOL to issue fines for COVID-19 rulebreakers

Coronavirus
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Check out the latest SA news, including on-the-spot fines.

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SA POLICE will be able to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $5000 for those who fail to comply with new rules for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Authorised officers will be able to issue expiation notices of $1,000 for non-compliance by a person and $5,000 for non-compliance by a body corporate.

While penalties for non-compliance to directions made by the State Coordinator for the declared major emergency already existed within the Emergency Management Act 2004, it previously required SAPOL to initiate a prosecution.

Premier Steven Marshall said while these restrictions may change the way people live and operate, they were not optional.

"To the majority of South Australians doing the right thing. We say thank you, because the failure of even a small minority to follow the rules threatens the health of all South Australians," he said.

"Everyone needs to understand that from today failure to follow the directions to the letter of the law will leave individuals and businesses liable for significant on-the-spot fines.

"The period of education regarding restrictions during this pandemic really has come to end and the period of enforcement has begun."

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said this would act as a "swift deterrent".

"This in turn is key to achieving the desired public health outcomes, namely, minimising transmission of COVID-19 to flatten the infection rate curve," he said.

"While most people are doing the right thing and complying with these directions, there are still a minority within the community who are not complying with the restrictions and are putting others at risk."

SA Health continue to provide a daily list to SAPOL for compliance checking of people with self-quarantine and self-isolation obligations.

But this has increased in numbers as police collect their own data through border control activities and calls to the Police Assistance Line and Crime Stoppers.

Since March 16, SAPOL have conducted 199 compliance checks, nine of those assessed as non-compliant.

All of those have been provided information to educate them to reinforce in no uncertain terms how important and critical it is that they do comply with the requirements of isolation.

For businesses that have been directed to close, Police have undertaken a major education focus to assist businesses fully comprehend what the restrictions really mean for them and their staff.

A total of 3200 business compliance checks have been conducted with approximately 75 assessed as non-compliant since March 16.

Those businesses that were assessed as non-compliant were given specific directions and all have immediately complied from that point.

On 16 March, restrictions were put in place for people entering into South Australia from interstate and police are being supported by DPTI and PIRSA personnel at 11 border points across the state.

SAPOL said there has not been any indication of any adverse effects on the movement of heavy freight across the border and on most occasions, freight transport operators have been waved through to ensure food and essential supplies are not delayed.

Any travellers who enter SA may be stopped by police at checkpoints and Essential Travellers may be required to provide evidence of their status.

A police officer will complete a form on behalf of the traveller to record their personal particulars.

If you believe you fit the criteria of an Essential Traveller, you need to make that claim to the police officer at this time.

The police officer will then assess that claim and if the criteria is met, an Essential Traveller Notice, signed by the police officer will be issued. This notice must be carried or displayed on the vehicle dashboard at all times.

If the criteria has not been met, you will be advised that you are subject to self-quarantine for 14 days and you will be provided with an information sheet, which outlines the direction.

Those who have legitimate business - or those who reside either side of the border and cross state borders regularly as a part of their daily routine - are considered 'essential travellers' and are being assisted at the border points.

A NSW woman has already been arrested for failure to stop at a border checkpoint at Oodla Wirra on the Barrier Highway.

The patrol caught up with the car and attempted to stop it but the driver refused to pullover.

Patrols pursed the Navara Utility along the Barrier Highway until spikes were successfully deployed about 1.5km north of Whyte-Yarcowie.

The car stopped a short distance away and the female driver was arrested.

The 51-year-old woman from NSW was arrested and taken to hospital for a medical assessment. At the hospital the woman allegedly intentionally coughed in the face of the patrol.

The woman has been charged with engaging in a police pursuit, speed dangerous, refuse alco, carry offensive weapon and aggravated assault police. She was also issued an expiation notice of $1060.00 for non-compliance of COVID-19 directions.

The woman was refused police bail and will appear in the Port Pirie Magistrates Court today.

International travellers arriving in SA will be directed to accommodation nominated by SA Health and remain in quarantine at the location for 14 days from their date of arrival in Australia.

Any South Australian arriving in another state or territory from overseas will be required to remain in quarantine in that state or territory for 14 days. Another 14 days of self-quarantine will apply once they return to SA.

There have also been restrictions place on entry into residential aged care facilities.

Among the new rules, a resident of a residential aged care facility who leaves the premises for any reason not related to medical or dental treatment of the resident after this direction commences operation is prohibited from re-entering those premises.

The state government has placed limits on movements into remote areas across SA to help slow the spread.

From Thursday, anyone wishing to enter a designated community needs to self-isolate for 14 days before they can do so. This includes residents of those communities.

Restrictions apply to areas on which the following communities are located:

  • Davenport
  • Dunjiba
  • Gerard
  • Point Pearce
  • Yalata
  • Nepabunna (excluding Iga Wata)
  • Yarilena.

Movement into Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and Maralinga Tjarutja will also be restricted.

Mr Marshall said that for most community members, the safest place is in their communities.

"These measures are being put in place to protect some of our most vulnerable South Australians and to minimise the risk of the virus entering more remote areas where medical facilities are limited," he said.

."We know that community members rely on visiting and outreach activities so essential personnel will be exempt from these restrictions to ensure they can keep delivering these important services.

The state government will support those who do not have appropriate alternate arrangements to self-isolate.

A designated SAPOL officer will permit people to enter a community in certain circumstances.

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