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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Police take ‘no tolerance approach’ to individuals in self-isolation

Despite 100% compliance across 367 spots checks in the past three days, ACT Policing have warned they will take a ‘no tolerance approach’ to anyone in self-isolation caught disobeying the rules.

A mandatory 14-day quarantine has been in place for anyone who has entered the ACT from Victoria since 3 July, to be completed either in hotels or at home.

Member of the AFP’s ACT COVID-19 Taskforce, Detective Superintendent Jason Kennedy, told ABC Radio Canberra’s Breakfast today that after visiting hundreds of homes and 13 hotels, they will ramp up their checks over the coming weeks.

“We actually expect the numbers of people in self-isolation and quarantine to dramatically increase over the next week, especially as school holidays end next Sunday,” he said.

“We’ve got a no tolerance approach to this; we’ve seen what’s happening down in Victoria … We have the power to issue fines on the spot and will do so if we find anyone not complying.”

On Friday 10 July, ACT Policing gained access to the Services NSW database, meaning they have a record of every person who has entered NSW from Victoria.

From that database, ACT Policing have both the details, including their registration numbers and addresses, and the capacity to check up on them should they have travelled onward to the ACT.

ACT Policing currently have three COVID-19 Taskforces; the third team was established this month for the sole purpose of policing self-isolation and quarantine.

The other two teams have been operating for some time, policing social distancing restrictions on licensed premises, restaurants, shops and other businesses in the Braddon/Civic nightlife district in conjunction with Access Canberra.

Following anecdotal reports of customers in Braddon and Civic claiming venues and shopfronts were densely packed, ACT Policing confirmed some premises were flouting the rules.

Restaurants not compliant will face fines of up to $5,000.

Chief Police Officer for the ACT, Neil Gaughan, said any business found intentionally breaching COVID-19 health directions will be issued with an infringement notice.

“We have all had many weeks to become familiar with, and fully understand, the health advice so any business not following directions can now expect stronger enforcement action.”

As at 13 July, ACT Policing have issued nine formal cautions relating to social distancing, while 40 reports of non-compliance have been made to the ACT’s COVID-19 hotline since the first cases in over a month were reported on 8 July.

Canberrans who know anyone returned or visiting from Victoria who aren’t self-isolating or know of businesses not practising social distancing are encouraged to contact either the ACT Government COVID helpline on 6207 7244 or ACT Policing on 131 444.

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