NSW social distancing powers will last until end of June
2 April 2020, Written by Business News Australia
The battle to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve is far from over, with NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (pictured) announcing the state's strict social distancing measures will be in place for 90 days.
The commissioner told a press conference he won't be seeking an extension at the end of that period and "hopefully people will have gotten the message by then".
Fuller noted there had been three tickets issued in the previous 24 hours relation to isolation.
"Four men in a park drinking alcohol [is] not exercise. Three of the men left, one refused to go, he got a $1,000 ticket. I think it's entirely appropriate," he said.
"I'm reviewing all of these tickets personally, which would never happen again for any other time, and I'll continue to do that and if I think it's unreasonable it will be withdrawn immediately and we will make personal contact.
"But police are out there, we're doing our best to protect the community in a very different way than what we normally do."
He called on the community to work with police and understand they are trying to slow the spread of the virus by minimising unnecessary contact.
"The safest place is at home in isolation, and of course there are lots of carve-outs for people who need to work and we want you to go to work," he said.
"There's been a lot of questions about exercise and I get it, we want people to be able to say fit and physically and psychologically healthy, and we're trying to make sensible decisions in relation to that.
"But of course, if I said it's OK to sit on a park bench then everyone's going to go to the park, and we're going to end up back where we started."
The commissioner explained 500 more people were expected to arrive in the state from overseas today - more than expected, and including military personnel would would go into isolation just like all other arrivals.
There were 116 new cases of Covid-19 reported in NSW in the past 24 hours, taking the state total to 2,298.
Nationwide there are now 5,103 confirmed cases of the virus (NSW 2,298; VIC 1,036; QLD 835; WA 392; SA 367; ACT 84; TAS 72; and NT 19) and there have been 23 deaths.
Yesterday the new national case count was marginally lower at 303, and it is already at 239 today before lunchtime with several parts of the country yet to issue their updated numbers.
Updated at 11:38am AEDT on 2 April 2020.
Author: Business News Australia