NSW Police cop out 13 infringements for violation of Public Health Act in 24 hours

NSW Police had a busy day calling out offenders of strictly placed social distancing laws on 2nd April. A total 13 infringements were issued, 12 to individuals and one to a remedial massage business.

As of 12am Tuesday, NSW residents legally have to stay in their homes unless they have a “reasonable excuse” for leaving.

“Reasonable excuses” are broadly categorised as:

  • Obtaining food or other goods and service
  • Travelling for the purposes of work or education if the person cannot do it at home
  • Exercise
  • Medical or caring reasons

The full list of reasonable excuses can be found here.

The new laws, published late on Monday night, allow for fines of up to $11,000 or six months’ imprisonment for those who leave the home without a reasonable excuse, plus an additional $5,500 fine each day the offence continues.

Listed below are the infringements, as shared by NSW Police Force:


– Just after midnight (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police were patrolling Artarmon when they saw two men standing together on the Princes Highway. It’s alleged that as officers approached, one of the men ran – but was chased and eventually stopped by police. Both men gave varying accounts about why they were out, however neither satisfied the requirements stipulated by the Public Health Order. The men – aged 19 and 24 – were searched, issued with infringement notices and moved on.

– About 1.30am yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), officers attached to New England Police District stopped a vehicle on Adelaide Street, Moree, for the purposes of a roadside breath test. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, was unable to provide a reasonable excuse for leaving her home in Coonamble and was issued with a penalty infringement notice.

– About 1.30am yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police stopped a car in Coonamble containing five people and gave them a verbal warning about social distancing, public gatherings and non-essential travel. It will be alleged that at 8.45am the same morning, one of the occupants of the vehicle – a 21-year-old woman – was spotted by officers walking around Coonamble without a legitimate excuse. She was issued with an infringement notice.

– Yesterday about 3.15am (Wednesday 1 April 2020) officers from Orana Mid-Western Police District fined a 23-year-old man for not comply with noticed direction (Section 7/8/9 – COVID-19). The man was given a warning by police the previous evening, before being caught leaving his home a second time without a reasonable excuse.

– About 9.15am on Friday 20 March 2020, a 28-year-old man arrived in Australia from New Zealand, with two travel companions and was informed of his obligations to enter a 14-day self-isolation period in his home due to COVID-19. About 10.30am yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), officers attached to Riverina Police District attended the man’s registered address in Gundagai to conduct a welfare and compliance check. The man was not home and was later stopped by police driving his vehicle on Sheridan Street. For failing to self-quarantine, the man was issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice.

– About 4pm (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police saw two men sitting together at Caseys Beach Reserve, Batehaven, drinking alcohol. When officers spoke with the pair, it’s alleged they became abusive and claimed they were exercising. One of the men, aged 41, was charged with an unrelated offence and issued an infringement notice in relation to breaching a Public Health Order. The other 44-year-old man was issued an infringement notice, searched and moved on from the area.

– Just before 6pm (Wednesday 1 April 2020), police attended a single vehicle crash on Union Road, Lavington. The car’s only occupant – a 51-year-old man – was not injured, but allegedly told police he had left his home in order to visit his drug dealer. The man was arrested and taken to hospital for blood and urine testing. Checks revealed he was disqualified from driving. He was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for driving whilst disqualified (2nd+ offence) and given an infringement notice for contravening a Public Health Order.

– A man and a woman were fined yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), after police patrolling Scott Street, Muswellbrook, spotted the pair sitting in a car. Following inquiries, officers attached to Hunter Valley Police District found neither the 32-year-old woman or the 27-year-old man had a reasonable excuse not to be at home.

– Yesterday, a 21-year-old man ignored two warnings to be fined $1000 for failing to comply with Ministerial directions under the Public Health Act. Officers attached to Newcastle City Police District found the man for the third time that day (Wednesday 1 April 2020), on Market St eating a kebab on a bench.


– Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District attended a remedial massage business on Harrison Street, Cardiff, about 4pm yesterday (Wednesday 1 April 2020), following information it was continuing to operate. Police observed several customers enter and leave the premises. The operator, a 57-year-old woman, was spoken to and issued a $5,000 PIN for failing to comply with noticed direction (Section 7/8/9 – COVID-19).