30 July 2020

Wayward traveller faces fine for stopping in ACT

| Michael Weaver
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Detective Superintendent Jason Kennedy

Head of the ACT Policing’s COVID-19 Taskforce Detective Superintendent Jason Kennedy. Photo: Michael Weaver

A man travelling from Victoria to Sydney faces a $1000 fine for stopping in Canberra over the weekend without an exemption.

ACT Policing’s COVID-19 Taskforce is investigating the alleged breach of an ACT Public Health Emergency Direction after the man was located at the premises of an undisclosed business in the ACT.

On Saturday evening (25 July) police received a report that a man was in the ACT, having travelled from Victoria the previous night. It was a condition of the man’s border crossing permit that he travel directly to a Sydney address and self-isolate at the location for 14 days.

The man was directed to leave the ACT immediately and quarantine for 14 days at his destination in Sydney. The man complied with the direction and left the ACT in his vehicle, under the watch of police.

The Public Health Emergency Direction prohibits non-ACT residents from entering the ACT from Victoria unless they have been granted an exemption from ACT Health.

The circumstances surrounding this incident are still under investigation, and the man may face a fine of $1000 for travelling to the ACT without an exemption.

ACT Policing continued its COVID-19 compliance checks on people in self-isolation, in quarantine and at businesses over the weekend.

With assistance from the ACT State Emergency Service and the Rural Fire Service, ACT Policing visited more than 300 people in quarantine to ensure they were complying with current ACT Public Health Directions.

There was 100 per cent compliance of people in self-isolation and quarantine at hotels and at home. In the past 14 days, ACT Policing has conducted more than 1200 such checks.

ACT Policing and Access Canberra also visited more than 60 restaurants during the weekend and found most businesses were compliant with current COVID-19 guidelines.

Police also responded to several calls for assistance with patrons who were not abiding by social distancing guidelines when lining-up at venues.

Head of the ACT Policing’s COVID-19 Taskforce Detective Superintendent Jason Kennedy said that while the weekend’s results were pleasing, Canberrans still needed to respect and follow the health directions and social distancing guidelines.

“You are not allowed to stand at a bar and drink. You must be seated. You can only be in groups of 10 or less at venues,” Det Supt Kennedy said.

“You need to ensure you maintain at least 1.5 metres from others. You need to wait until staff have cleaned the tables before you sit at them.”

Meanwhile, the ACT has recorded 18 days without a new case of COVID-19. There is only one active case in the ACT and no COVID-19 patients in Canberra hospitals.

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said while it was important to note the achievements and good work of Canberrans in the fight against COVID-19, this was not the time to be complacent.

“The pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant,” Dr Johnston said.

“We can be rightly proud of the hard work and responsible decisions Canberrans have been making throughout this pandemic. But now is not the time to take it easy. We only need to have a look at what is happening in Victoria and NSW to see how the situation can change quickly if people don’t do the right thing.

“Our continued success in the fight against this virus relies on Canberrans maintaining this effort in the weeks and months ahead. Physical distancing and good hygiene practices are our best defences against the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr Johnston also again reminded everyone to stay home if they are unwell.

“You may think it’s just a cold, but you must stay home if you are unwell. Don’t go to work or to the shops. Go and get tested.

“We also expect all workplaces to encourage their employees to stay home if they are unwell.”

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