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'Don’t complain': $5,000 fines, businesses shut as police crack down

The police speak to members of the community next to a COVID-19 public health sign. Australian money fanned out and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The police will launch Operation Stay at Home from midnight on Sunday with new $5,000 on the spot fines for rulebreakers (Source: Getty)

Police will launch Operation Stay at Home from midnight on Sunday to limit residents movement and enforce new on the spot fines for non-compliance.

This comes as NSW records its worst day so far with 466 new cases of community transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Residents will only be able to travel 5 kilometres from their home, down from 10 kilometres previously.

New fines for rule breakers

In addition, police are ramping up their efforts to keep Aussies at home with increased on the spot fines for rule-breakers.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said from midnight on Sunday people will receive $5,000 on the spot fines for breaching stay at home orders, up from $1,000.

The $5,000 penalty will also apply for lying to contact tracers or on permit applications.

$3,000 fines will also be issued for breaching the two-person exercise rule and for those who breach the border between Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

“I’m not apologetic, please do not write and complain to me. We have given ample warnings and cautions,” Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said at the COVID-19 press conference today.

Businesses forced to close

Police officers closed down a Leichhardt cafe for 14 days for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions on multiple occasions.

The police said the closure order follows a number of previous interactions with the business owner due to numerous complaints from members of the public.

“Police have attended the café a total of ten times in the past two weeks and issued the owner five PINs for breaching the public health orders,” Fuller said.

“The owner has also been arrested and charged on two separate occasions with a number of offences relating to alleged breaches of the public health orders, and those matters remain before the courts.”

Fuller said the police are alleging the cafe owner has been seen on a number of occasions preparing and serving food without a mask and allowing customers to sit inside and outside the café.

He has also allegedly refused to produce a COVID-19 Safety Plan when asked, as required under the public health order.

“This café owner, a 44-year-old man, has shown a blatant disregard for the health and safety of his community for an extended period of time, and his business will now stay closed until I’m satisfied there is no further risk to public health,” Fuller said.

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