Police have made it crystal clear that the time for warnings is over, they will be cracking down on non-compliance of Stay at Home orders, COVID restrictions and Public Health Orders.
Commander of Tuggerah Lakes Police District, Superintendent John Gralton, said most people were doing the right thing but warned that those who flagrantly breached the Public Health Orders would feel the full force of the law.
“We’ll be strong with the enforcement, the police are serious about enforcing the Public Health Orders because we want to continue to keep the Central Coast safe,” he said.
Last Friday, August 20, Police set up three checkpoints – on the M1 and Wyee Rd at Morisset and on the Pacific Highway at Lake Munmorah – to deter and stop travellers from Sydney suburbs.
Police turned back 18 vehicles at the checkpoints, they issued 17 fines for breach of Public Health Orders, there were 31 traffic infringement notices and 2220 random breath tests.
Supt Gralton said mobile and static operations as part of Operation Stay at Home and Operation Boundary Response would continue, and there would be high police visibility along the M1 from Sydney right through to the Hunter and northern region.
A new permit system limits people coming to the Central Coast from Sydney and anyone who doesn’t comply, or lies to authorities, will cop a $5,000 fine.
On top of rules already in place for wearing masks, it is now mandatory across NSW for everyone over the age of 12 to wear a mask outdoors, except when exercising, but you must carry one with you.
Over the past weekend, August 20-22, Tuggerah Lakes Police issued 27 infringement notices and a 15-year-old was dealt with under the Young Offenders Act, for not wearing or carrying a face covering.
“Seventeen were for not complying with Public Health Orders, such as people away from their homes without a reasonable excuse,” Supt Gralton said.
The other infringements were issued for various non-compliances in relation to wearing of masks.
Since August 16, Police have issued a total 58 Penalty Infringement Notices for non-compliance of Public Health Orders.
Supt Gralton said the Australian Defence Force had come on board to help Police conduct daily welfare compliance checks for those people who are close contacts or tested positive for COVID and are in self-isolation, particularly in the northern suburbs and specifically in Lake Munmorah where there have been many cases.
“I think the Central Coast has done extremely well to have as low a number of cases as we’ve had,” he said.
“I’m really proud of the Local Health District, the emergency service partners and our Local Emergency Management Committee that have worked really hard in sharing and communicating with each other, making sure we support each other and conducting compliance checks, making sure our vaccination sites are operating well, making sure our testing sites are working well and really giving the Coast the best chance it can possibly have of keeping us safe from COVID,” Supt Gralton said.