New South Wales Police has launched a new COVID-19 compliance operation today, after the state reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases and entered a state-wide lockdown over the weekend.
Operation ‘STAY AT HOME’ has commenced in metropolitan and regional areas of NSW, and is being led by acting assistant commissioner Andrew Holland.
As part of the operation, 1400 officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will enforce compliance along the state’s roads.
A further 500 Australian Defence Force troops have also been brought in to undertake compliance checks and patrols, bringing the total number of ADF personnel currently assisting NSW Police to 800.
The additional troops were requested by the police commissioner, according to police minister David Elliott.
“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,” 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 state government introduced a number of tough rules on Monday, including on-the-spot fines of up to $5000 for individuals who fail to comply with current restrictions, and permits to enter regional NSW.
The 10 kilometre restriction on movement for locked down areas has also been reduced to 5 kilometres. In LGAs of concern, outdoor recreation is no longer allowed — except for exercise and supervision of children — and people who live alone must register their ‘singles bubble’.
The Sydney lockdown has been extended to the rest of the state, with regional areas expected to emerge from lockdown on Sunday, August 22. NSW residents are required to stay home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as obtaining goods and services, for essential work or education, to exercise, or for medical or caring reasons.
NSW reported a record 478 new cases on Monday, breaking its previous record of 466 on Saturday. The state also recorded eight deaths including the death of a teenager.
Parts of NT enter lockdown, ACT and Victoria extend lockdown
Meanwhile, the Northern Territory government has announced a snap 72-hour lockdown for Greater Darwin and Katherine after recording one new COVID-19 case overnight. Health authorities do not know how the case, a man in his 30s, was contracted, and whether it is the Delta variant.
The COVID-19 situation in Victoria is also developing. The state recorded 22 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with 205 active cases, sparking a two-week extension of Melbourne’s lockdown. Health officials have also implemented a curfew between 9pm and 5am.
In other parts of the country, the ACT recorded 19 new cases on Monday, prompting the government to extend its lockdown for a further two weeks, until September 2.
Queensland recorded zero COVID-19 cases on both Sunday and Monday.