NSW Police have announced a crackdown on private gatherings as the weather starts to warm up and summer approaches.
In an update on fines for breaching coronavirus public health orders over the weekend, Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell said the rules would now be changed, with everyone in attendance to cop it.
Previously, only the organisers of an event would be fined $1,000 if more than 20 people were found to be at a gathering.
Now, all attendees will face the same $1,000 penalty.
“Coming into the warmer months, and with end-of-year festivities around the corner, it’s only natural that people will have additional reasons to want to gather and get together,” Crandall said.
“These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn’t mean an increase in COVID-19 cases.”
The changes have come into place despite NSW only recording four new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, September 14th, with three of those in hotel quarantine.
Over the weekend, three people were issued with $1,000 fines for not complying with public health orders.
A 38-year-old man was caught attempted to enter NSW from Victoria on the Sturt Highway. After attempting to cross on two other occasions in the next 24 hours, he was fined.
Dr Christine Selvey of NSW Health warned against complacency, saying that despite the low numbers, “coronavirus is still likely circulating in the community among people with mild symptoms.
“This means there is still a risk of outbreaks and a resurgence of cases.”
Victoria recorded 35 new cases of coronavirus and seven deaths.
Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared that normal movement without coronavirus border restrictions on travel likely wouldn’t be possible before Christmas this year.
NSW Police have just announced that from midnight tonight anyone who is at a private gathering in NSW with more than 20 people is liable for a $1000 fine. Previously only the organiser of a gathering was liable to receive a fine.
— Nick Ralston (@NickDRalston) September 14, 2020