State Emergency Operations Controller and NSW Police Force Commissioner, Mick Fuller, is urging community compliance with mandatory quarantine measures now in effect.
Anyone entering Australia is subject to a ministerial direction requiring them to self-isolate immediately on arrival for 14 days.
The NSW Police Force is working with a number of state and federal agencies to ensure that this direction is adhered to.
All arrivals over the coming days will be provided with comfortable accommodation and will be able to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone and internet.
NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister, David Elliott, said this was a vital step in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
“The data shows that more than 60 per cent of cases across the state are returned travellers,” Elliott said.
“We need to ensure that these individuals aren’t bringing COVID-19 home before we allow them to have close contact with other members of the community.
“This virus is incredibly virulent, and is continuing to spread, threatening our elderly and vulnerable members of the population.
“These measures are absolutely necessary to ensure that we do our best to stop the spread,” he added.
Commissioner Fuller said officers would be enforcing the quarantine period and would not hesitate to use the appropriate action against individuals who do not comply.
“Anyone who doesn’t comply will be breaking the law, it’s as simple as that.
“People need to take this seriously,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“This is an unprecedented operation and I would urge recent arrivals to help police in their efforts to protect the state by complying with these new restrictions.
“While most people in NSW are adhering to the government’s health directions, there is still a small minority of irresponsible individuals who continue to flout the rules and put others at risk.
“It’s because of them that we need to have these types of restrictions in place,” he added.
Commissioner Fuller said significant care was being taken to ensure that those in quarantine remained comfortable for the duration of their self-isolation period.
“I understand that this is unprecedented, and that people would rather be at home, but we are dealing with an unprecedented situation, and we need to adapt accordingly.
“My priority has always been, and will continue to be, the safety of the community in NSW,” he said.
Anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction is subject to heavy penalties, which can include Personal Infringement Notices (PINs) of $1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses.
Court Attendance Notices (CANs) can also be issued, which carry a maximum penalty of an $11,000 fine and/or jail time.
Press release, Mar 29
NSW Police Media