Police begin RBT-style quarantine checks for COVID-compliance

Dominic Giannini 6 January 2021 4
Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan

Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said police will be conducting random COVID-19 compliance checks. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT Policing will be targeting vehicles with NSW licence plates around national institutions in Parkes and Barton as officers conduct RBT-style operations for COVID-19 compliance.

People who have been in the Greater Sydney region, including the Central Coast and Wollongong, have been banned from entering the ACT and despite some border checkpoints, police acknowledge it would not be possible to staff the nearly 70 entry points into the Territory.

Instead, Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said police will be directing resources to check vehicles with interstate plates.

“We will do things quite differently within the ACT’s borders, particularly along our major roads [like] Adelaide Avenue, Northbourne Avenue, Canberra Avenue etc where we will do RBT-type quarantine checks to ensure people are adhering to the health direction,” CPO Gaughan said yesterday (5 January).

Around 14 per cent of cars checked entering the Territory on Saturday (2 January) required some intervention, with occupants either being turned back or directed to quarantine, but this fell to just 2 per cent on Monday.

“The messaging is obviously getting out to people in Greater Sydney and I thank people for listening,” he said.

CPO Gaughan also confirmed checks are occurring on public transport.

“We are working very closely with Murray’s who have given us a copy of their manifest, and indeed the other bus companies as well,” he said.

“My understanding is that as of yesterday, NSW trains are terminating at Queanbeyan. We know who is on the train, we are getting that manifest, we have visibility and my understanding is the number of people coming to Canberra via train and bus has diminished quite significantly.”

The health direction blocking entry into the ACT from NSW hotspots will continue until at least next Wednesday (13 January), with a final checkpoint being conducted by the Chief Health Officer on Tuesday to determine if restrictions will be extended.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the checkpoints and restrictions would not be in place a day longer than necessary.


READ MORE: What the ACT’s new COVID-19 restrictions mean for you


“This is not something that we would anticipate still being the case where police are at the border every single day for the entire month of January and February and beyond,” he said.

“There will be some inconvenience, we understand that and we acknowledge it, but my message is that the public health directions are in place for a reason and we will be out checking so do not take the risk of an $8,000 fine.

“Do not put your health, the health of the people you are visiting or the places you are staying, and this broader community at risk.”

Just over 11,160 vehicles had been checked at the borders as of this morning, with 172 turned around and 337 directed into home quarantine.

Of the 16 cars that were turned around on Tuesday, most were coming to Canberra for a day trip to visit national institutions, Mr Gaughan said.

ACT Policing is recording the number plates of cars that have been turned around.


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4 Responses to Police begin RBT-style quarantine checks for COVID-compliance
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Acton Acton 6:40 am 07 Jan 21

If it is a choice between the imposition of a police state or covid, then a democracy must choose covid. Civil liberties and freedoms of normal life, fought for and entrusted to us by our ancestors, are daily being removed by the state as we watch. The danger is that temporary restraints become permanent shackles.

    theroundone theroundone 8:27 am 07 Jan 21

    Canberra is a city jam packed full of people who owe what little measure of success they have to the corrupt institutions they serve.

    Many Canberrans are willfully ignorant about the obvious Scientific Dictatorship the world is under right now, mainly because the concept of thinking for oneself has been demonized in their politically correct environment.

    JC JC 12:17 pm 07 Jan 21

    That’s a rather strange view point but not unexpected.

    If you want to extrapolate your theory further you could say that all laws essentially impinge on your freedoms to do what ever you darn well would like to do.

    But reality is that is laws are there to protect the community at large from those who think they can do what they like.

    Whilst I appreciate many view the restrictions that Covid rules place, end of the day those rules and laws are there for much the same reason we have say murder and rape laws which is to protect the community as a whole.

    Loviatar Loviatar 4:49 pm 07 Jan 21

    Sorry but no. I would rather live in an “undemocratic” police nanny-state than have some muppet from an infected area come here and spread it around. That sort of “but my freedom” argument is precisely why America is suffering right now. I’d rather we have to put up with some pretty minor restrictions now than have thousands and thousands of people die.

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