Stay at home.
That's the message from the Mid North Coast Police District as officers begin to target non-compliance across the region.
Chief Inspector Mick Aldridge said officers will be out in force this week and is urging the public to follow the stay at home orders.
"Police will be targeting major shopping centres and beaches and will be pulling people up for not complying with the current stay at home orders," he said.
"We want the community to know that stay at home means stay at home."
There were four Public Health Order breaches in Port Macquarie on Monday morning (August 16).
"This has been a mix of people not understanding the rules and people who were potentially disobeying the orders," Insp Aldridge said.
"Two people were issued with warnings on Monday morning, while investigations are underway into the two incidents where people have travelled to our Local Government Area (LGA). There is a possibility they will be fined."
Highway Patrol officers will also be stopping vehicles on major roads across the Mid North Coast.
"They will be checking people's reasons for travelling outside of their LGA," Insp Aldridge said.
"We want to remind the community that we will be taking action and there are some hefty fines for non-compliance."
Increased fines for Public Health Order breaches were introduced from 12.01am, Monday, August 16 and include:
- $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.
"The majority of people over the weekend and today have been complying with the stay at home order in our area and have only been leaving their home for the essential reasons," Insp Aldridge said.
"We are urging people to comply with the lockdown orders. The sooner we all comply, the sooner we will get through this."
The increased police presence is part of a statewide operation to reduce movement across the NSW.
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, and these operations will continue to expand throughout this week in order to enforce the permit system announced by the NSW Government," 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."
The reasons you may leave your home
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services.
- Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact).
- Exercise outdoors in groups of two or fewer (unless members of the same household).
- Every employer across NSW must require their employees to work from home unless it is not reasonably practicable.
Schooling will be done from home in most cases.
Masks must be worn indoors (not including the home) and in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance from others. Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times.
From August 16, 2021: NSW under 5km from home outside LGA rule and other additional restrictions
Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: