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This is how much you’ll be fined this Easter for not staying home

Bondi, Sydney on 4 April 2020: Police officers ride horses as they patrol during a partial lockdown. (Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a very clear message for every Australian this Easter: stay at home.

“This Easter weekend will be incredibly important. Stay at home. Failure to do so this weekend would completely undo everything we have achieved so far together, and potentially worse,” he said in an address on Tuesday.

“When you normally may have gone out together as family and been out in public places and parks, or gone away, or wherever you might have been, that is not something you can do this Easter long weekend.”

More than 660 on-the-spot fines have already been issued across the nation for those disobeying social distancing rules designed to stem the spread of Covid-19.

However, the cost of the on-the-spot fines differ for every state. So if you’re caught out this long weekend travelling for non-essential reasons, here’s how much you could get fined:

  • NSW: $1,000

  • Victoria: $1,652

  • Queensland: $1,334.50

  • Western Australia: $1,000

  • ACT: $1,000

  • Tasmania: Police don’t have the ability to give on-the-spot fines, so people will be dealt with by summons or arrest in more serious cases.

  • South Australia: $1,000

  • Northern Territory: $1,099

Note that on-the-spot fines aren’t the same as the fines individuals and businesses may face if they disobey a health order.

These fines are several thousand dollars, and in some cases can stretch as high as $50,000.

What can you be fined for?

Police authorities have been careful with handing out fines, stating that only “deliberate, blatant and obvious breaches” – such as partying or social gatherings in public spaces such as parks – would be hit with financial penalties.

Most people are likely to receive a warning first and told to move on before being issued a fine.

While the exact rules around gatherings differ across each state and territory, Morrison has outlined that social gatherings of more than two people, indoor or outdoors, are banned.

The only reasons for travelling over this Easter break are for essentials such as going to the supermarket, pharmacy, going to work, or a funeral or wedding.

So jumping in a car ride with a friend or having many friends or members of extended family over for Easter would be grounds for warnings or fines, as would visiting holiday homes or Airbnbs.

There will be additional police presence on the roads and streets over the long weekend.

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