In an effort to plug a gap in a porous border, ACT Policing began checking vehicles entering the ACT on Sutton Road in Pialligo today, having previously directed most of its efforts toward a border checkpoint on the Federal Highway.
Police officers will be on the lookout for residents and non-residents attempting to enter the Territory from declared COVID-affected areas in NSW and drivers will be asked to show approved exemptions where applicable.
Over the weekend, police checked nearly 5,000 vehicles on the Federal Highway, the main arterial road into the ACT from NSW, and 147 drivers were denied entry.
This follows an historic ban on non-ACT residents who have recently been in Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong from entering the Territory without an exemption, effectively closing the border to some New South Welshmen.
Non-ACT residents attempting to skirt the rules will face penalties of up to $8,000 if caught in the ACT illegally.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said there were “around 80 non-ACT residents from COVID-19 affected areas of NSW” travelling to the ACT daily.
There were 217 returning ACT residents directed into quarantine over the weekend.
Today, ACT Policing Detective Superintendent Rohan Smith, from the COVID-19 Taskforce, said law enforcement were there to stop the “small minority whose disregard for public health directions puts everyone else at risk”.
“We are seeing a significant amount of self-quarantining with the majority of Canberrans keen to do the right thing.”
He said ACT Policing will continue to work with the ACT Government to consider the most appropriate enforcement approach and more temporary checkpoints may be required in the coming days.
Visit the ACT COVID-19 website changes to restrictions page for the latest information.
For general enquiries or to make reports of non-compliance, contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 6207 7244 (8am-8pm, 7 days a week) or make an online report.
For police assistance call 131 444 and only contact Triple Zero (000) for emergencies.