Increased fines, test and isolate payments + new compliance measures as NSW battles Delta
Increased fines of up to $5,000 for COVID breaches, $320 COVID-19 Test and Isolate Support Payments, permits to enter regional NSW and a heightened police presence will be introduced, as NSW continues to battle the Delta variant.
In addition, in Greater Sydney and other lockdown areas, the 10 kilometre rule will be reduced from 12.01am Monday, August 16th, with shopping, exercise and outdoor recreation to be done in a person’s local government area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 5 kilometres of home.
LGAs of concern must still exercise and shop within 5 kilometres from home only.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the vast majority of people are doing the right thing but there are a handful of people who are wilfully breaking the rules and putting the rest of the community at risk.
“The increased fines and heightened police presence are about ensuring people who are doing the wrong thing are caught and punished appropriately,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Under the changes, there will be increased fines for Public Health Order breaches, a permit system to enter regional NSW and tightened rules for people in LGAs of concern to help reduce the spread of the Delta variant.
Increased fines for Public Health Order breaches (from 12.01am, Monday, 16 August):
- $5,000 on the spot fine for breaching self-isolation rules;
- $5,000 on the spot fine for lying on a permit (already a criminal offence);
- $5,000 on the spot fine for lying to a contact tracer (already a criminal offence);
- $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching the two person outdoor exercise/recreation rule; and
- $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching rules around entry into regional NSW for authorised work, inspecting real estate and travelling to your second home.
Permit system to enter regional NSW (from 12.01am, Saturday, 21 August):
- Any person who wishes to travel to regional NSW for one of the following reasons must have a permit which will be made available on Service NSW:
- authorised workers from LGAs of concern
- inspecting real estate. Any person inspecting real estate in the regions must now genuinely need a home to live in (no investment properties); and
- travelling to your second home. This is now only allowed if you are using the home for work accommodation or if the home requires urgent maintenance and repairs (if so, only one person may travel there).
Changes for residents in local government areas of concern:
- From 12.01am, Monday, 16 August: only exercise and supervision of children allowed (no outdoor recreation);
- From 12.01am, Saturday, 21 August: People who live alone must now register their “singles bubble”. Registration will be made available on nsw.gov.au.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the NSW Police Force will also have an increased and more visible presence across Greater Sydney, backed up by 500 additional Australian Defence Force personnel.
“We’ve had to tighten the current public health orders because of the minority who exploited them. In the LGAs of concern it will no longer be acceptable to leave your home for outdoor recreation, meaning gathering at parks or outside takeaway shops or cafes is not on. Enough is enough. If you do it, you will get fined,” Mr Elliott said.
“Residents across Greater Sydney and lockdown areas can also expect to see enhanced random police checkpoints on roads, to ensure people are complying with the stay at home rules aimed to protect the community.”
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the joint NSW Police Force and ADF operation – Operation STAY AT HOME – would commence on Monday, 16 August.
“These are some of the strongest powers we’ve ever had in the history of the NSW Police Force, as part of the government’s strategy to get in front of the virus in the coming weeks – it’s all about getting ahead of Delta, not chasing it,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“From this week we’ll be issuing $5,000 fines to people and closing premises which continue to break the health orders. Don’t complain if this happens to you – police are over the rule breakers.”
In addition, eligible workers aged 17 and over who live in the LGAs of concern, who have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and isolate until a negative result is returned, will be eligible for one $320 payment in a four week period for lost wages.
The ‘COVID-19 Test and Isolate Support Payments’ start next week and will help cover lost wages of casual workers but also those who may have exhausted their sick leave or carer’s leave to isolate at home.
Those waiting on their test results will get the $320 payment in their bank account within three business days of applying online at Service NSW.
There will also be a new $400 hardship payment payable through the Red Cross, for temporary visa holders and others in the community who are ineligible for Government financial support.
COVID-19 information and eligibility and how to apply will be made available soon.
To see support already available, please visit: www.service.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave your home in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
You must stay home. Only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse.
Reasonable excuse to leave home
A reasonable excuse is if you need to:
- obtain food or other goods and services:
- in your local government area, within 10km of your home, if reasonably practicable but not if to do so means that you would enter a local government area of concern (from the start of Monday 16 August 2021, a 5km rule will apply)
- for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
- for vulnerable people
- only one person per household may leave the home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own).
- leave home to go to work if:
- you cannot reasonably work from home and
- the business is allowed to be open and
- you comply with relevant rules for COVID-19 tests for Sydney workers.
- leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
- exercise and take outdoor recreation within your local government area or up to 10km from your home (from the start of Monday 16 August 2021, a 5km rule will apply)
- go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.
See the list of other reasonable excuses.
Making it easier to get vaccinated
Pharmacies are administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 18 and over living in communities where access to a GP (doctor) or vaccine clinic is limited.
You must be aged 18 and over to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at the participating pharmacies.
You can book an appointment at a participating pharmacy or doctor's practice via the eligibility checker: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility
This service is available in English, Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Punjabi, Korean, Turkish, Bengali, Serbian, Khmer, Spanish, Hindi and Assyrian.
Translated resources are also available at: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/translated-resources
If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your doctor first.
If you have had another vaccination recently, including for seasonal influenza, you should wait at least 7 days before booking your appointment for COVID-19 vaccination.
The Eligibility Checker will prompt you to answer some questions to check when you can get a COVID-19 vaccination, find out where, and book an appointment. You can do this for yourself or another person.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the COVID-19 Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine as the preferred vaccine for people aged 16 to 59 years, but the AstraZeneca vaccine can also be provided to this age group.
All residential aged care workers are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine regardless of age. If you work in residential aged care, you can contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 and select option 4 for priority assistance and advice relating to booking your COVID-19 vaccine.
- If you are aged 40 years or more, you are eligible for vaccination.
- If you are aged 16 to 39 years you may be eligible for vaccination. Complete the checker to find out.
- If you are not yet eligible and aged 18 years or over, you can register to be notified when you are.
- If you are eligible and can’t find a clinic or make a booking that suits you, please check back later. New clinics and appointments are being added all the time.
- People under 16 years of age are not able to get vaccinated at this time unless they are 12-15 years of age and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people or have an identified underlying medical condition.
- The best place to keep up to date with all information is at: www.nsw.gov.au
- Best Place to get ALL the information about Support Packages on one page is at: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/2021-covid-19-support-package
- Covid Rules: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney
- NSW Health on FB: https://www.facebook.com/NewSouthWalesHealth/
- NSW Health website: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/
- Case Locations (just enter your postcode): https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/nsw-covid-19-case-locations
NSW Police Force to launch Operation STAY AT HOME
Saturday, 14 August 2021
The NSW Police Force will launch Operation STAY AT HOME from 12.01am Monday 16 August 2021, in a significant boost to public health order enforcement efforts across the state.
The operation will utilise resources from all Police Districts and Police Area Commands under Metropolitan and Regional NSW Field Operations alongside officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command, Dog and Mounted Unit, and a number of other specialist commands as required.
Significantly, 1400 officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be dedicated to both static and mobile COVID-19 compliance operations on the state’s roads.
A further 500 Australian Defence Force troops, in addition to the 300 already deployed, will assist with compliance checks and patrols.
Operation STAY AT HOME will be coordinated from the Police Operations Centre (POC) in Sydney under the command of Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the NSW Government was supporting the Commissioner’s call for assistance in the most practical way.
“The Commissioner asked for tighter Public Health Orders and the government agreed, the Commissioner asked for higher fines and the Government agreed, and the Commissioner asked for more ADF personnel and we have an additional 500 highly-trained ADF personnel arriving to assist,” Mr Elliott said.
“We’ve had to tighten the current public health orders because of the minority who exploited them. Enough is enough. If you do it, you will get fined.
“The only way out of this COVID-19 crisis is if we support each other and support the NSW Police-led compliance operation, Operation STAY AT HOME.”
Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, Metropolitan Field Operations, said the operation would see more police on the ground across Greater Sydney, utilising some of the strongest powers ever given to police.
“The level of non-compliance by some members of the community is unacceptable and we will be doubling down with compliance and enforcement to make sure we get ahead of the Delta strain,” Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said.
“It only takes one person to do the wrong thing to facilitate considerable spread of the virus.
“We will be issuing $5000 fines to people and closing any businesses which continue to breach the health orders, and will not apologise for these increased enforcement efforts going forward.”
Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing, Regional NSW Field Operations, said preventing movement to regional areas from Sydney, and between regional areas, would be a key focus of the operation.
“There will be more roadblocks on main arterial roads and backroads from tomorrow, and these operations will continue to expand throughout this week in order to enforce the permit system announced by the NSW Government this morning,” Deputy Commissioner Willing said.
“There will be nowhere to hide if you are doing the wrong thing. If you travel anywhere beyond your LGA at the moment, you are putting everyone else in NSW at considerable risk.
“From the start, this has been about reducing movement across the state and protecting the health and safety of everyone, and this operation significantly strengthens those efforts.”
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
NSW Health Update: Saturday August 14, 2021
NSW recorded 466 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
Of these locally acquired cases, 121 are linked to a known case or cluster – 101 are household contacts and 20 are close contacts – and the source of infection for 345 cases is under investigation.
Seventy-six cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 19 were in isolation for part of their infectious period. Sixty-eight cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 303 remains under investigation.
One new case was acquired overseas in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Four previously reported cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 12,903.
Sadly, NSW Health has been notified of the deaths of four people who had COVID-19.
A man in his 70s from south western Sydney died at Liverpool Hospital.
A man in his 80s from south western Sydney died at Concord Hospital.
A woman in her 40s from northern Sydney also died at Concord Hospital.
A woman in her 70s from south western Sydney died at Campbelltown Hospital.
NSW Health extends its deepest sympathies to their loved ones.
This brings the number of COVID-related deaths to 43 during the current outbreak, and the number of lives lost to 99 since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have been 7,337 locally acquired cases reported since June 16 2021, when the first case in this recent outbreak was reported.
There are currently 378 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 64 people in intensive care, 29 of whom require ventilation.
There were 129,352 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 127,988.
NSW Health administered 29,397 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, including 7,988 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.
The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 4,908,840 with 1,816,359 doses administered by NSW Health to 8pm last night and 3,092,481 administered by the GP network and other providers to 11.59pm on Thursday, 12 August 2021.
Of the 466 locally acquired cases reported to 8pm last night, 166 are from Western Sydney LHD, 106 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 59 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 37 are from Sydney LHD, 30 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, 26 are from Western NSW LHD, 16 are from Hunter New England LHD, 15 are from Northern Sydney LHD, five are from Central Coast LHD, two are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD and four currently have unknown addresses.
To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions will be extended for the Armidale Regional Local Government Area, including the towns of Armidale and Guyra, until 12.01am Sunday 22 August.
Following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant about the growing risk to the community, stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in these areas or have been there on or after 29 July 2021.
The rules for this area will be the same as those already in place across Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, and Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock.
NSW Health's ongoing sewage surveillance program has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 at the Ballina and Broken Hill sewage treatment plants.
The Ballina sewage treatment plant serves about 31,100 people and the Broken Hill sewage treatment plant serves about 9,900 people.
These areas are of particular concern, as there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Ballina or Broken Hill. Everyone in these areas is urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms, and if they appear, to immediately be tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
While there are known cases in Raymond Terrace, NSW Health is also urging local residents to be vigilant in the area as the Raymond Terrace sewage treatment plant has detected fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19. The Raymond Terrace sewage treatment plant in the Hunter region serves about 35,000 people.
If you are directed to get tested for COVID 19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the rules whether or not the venue or exposure setting is listed on the NSW Health website.
It remains vital that anyone who has any symptoms or is a close or casual contact of a person with COVID-19, isolates and is tested immediately. When testing clinics are busy, please ensure you stay in line, identify yourself to staff and tell them that you have symptoms or are a contact of a case.
Please check the NSW Government website regularly, and follow the relevant health advice if you have attended a venue of concern or travelled on a public transport route at the same time as a confirmed case of COVID-19. This list is being updated regularly as case investigations proceed.
There are more than 420 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinics and enter your postcode.