26 June 2021

ACT Policing to increase COVID-19 compliance checks

| David Murtagh
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AFP COVID-19 checkpoint at King Edward Terrace in December 2020. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT Policing will increase COVID-19 enforcement activities by conducting compliance checks across the ACT from tonight (26 June).

The announcement follows ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr declaring new stay-at-home orders for ACT residents returning to the ACT from Greater Sydney, and tough restrictions on non-residents trying to enter the ACT,

Police will check to ensure anyone who has been in a COVID-19-affected area of NSW has the requisite permission to legally be in the Territory.

Non-ACT residents who have recently been to Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong areas require an exemption to legally enter the ACT and may face penalties of up to $8,000 if they are caught in the ACT without one.

ACT residents in home quarantine can also expect a police check either via phone or by in-person checks.

Residents subject to stay at home orders can only leave home for essential purposes, including to buy supplies, daily exercise, medical care and compassionate needs, and essential work that cannot occur at home.

READ ALSO ACT retrospectively imposes lockdown on returned Greater Sydney travellers

Acting Chief Police Officer Liz McDonald said she expects people to do the right thing by following stay-at-home requirements and not entering the ACT without an exemption.

“I have tasked my members to be on the lookout for vehicles from interstate. If you enter the ACT against the public health directions, you may be stopped by police anytime, anywhere,” acting CPO McDonald said.

“We will also continue having officers conducting checks of individuals subject to stay-at-home orders. If you suspect someone is breaching the public health directions, let us know. We rely on information from our community and will act on information we receive and actively engage anyone who could be from the declared areas.

“Police will be there to stop the small minority whose disregard for public health directions puts everyone else at risk.

“We will continue to work with the ACT Government to consider the most appropriate enforcement approach in the ACT as health directions change.”

For further information on COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT, visit the ACT COVID-19 site.

For general enquiries, including to make reports of non-compliance, contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 6207 7244 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm, 7 days a week).

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Rules are rules. If you find it distasteful you can always migrate somewhere more free…

The ACT has done well so far in not over-reacting. Police roadside and home compliance checks are distasteful, unwanted and unnecessary. Even more offensive in a democracy is encouraging people to inform on their neighbours to the state. Stay calm and carry on.

Yes. Because the actions of many throughout this pandemic has definitely shown why these rules should not be enforced and regulated.

Because we are a democracy we shouldn’t inform government officials of those who have broken the law? I don’t think that will work mate.

In Australia we do not spy on and dob in our neighbours to the police. But if you come from a totalitarian state like China or North Korea, that is the normal thing to do. So Buzz off back there.

Then how are crimes reported to the police? Why is Crime Stoppers so valuable? How do you think the justice system works if not for people observing breaches in law and reporting it to the Police or Government agencies?

So you are the person who reports people travelling more than 5km, eating a burger on a park bench, holding hands in public, not wearing a mask, not signing in and counting the number of their visitors. Have you read Orwell’s 1984 comrade?

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