Two Canberra men arrested for COVID-19 threats

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Two Canberra men have been charged following separate incidents in Canberra City yesterday afternoon, Friday 27 March, for spitting or coughing in public and threatening COVID-19 infection.

About 3pm yesterday, a man was asked to leave a Canberra City premises. He allegedly refused and shortly after spat on a number of tables, allegedly making a statement that he was infected with COVID-19 and now everyone else at the premises would have to be tested.

Shortly after, the 57-year-old Hackett man was arrested by police and charged with acting to cause public alarm.

About 8pm yesterday, a man became irate with staff at a second Canberra City premises. He allegedly coughed towards staff and continued to do so through gaps in shutters closed by the staff.

The man, a 28-year-old from O’Connor, was arrested by police and charged with acting to cause public alarm.

There is no information to suggest either man is infected with COVID-19 or has had contact with any infected person.

Both men will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court today, Saturday 28 March.

Police are reminding the community that threats involving COVID-19 will be treated seriously and penalties, including jail time, can be imposed.

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