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Fines for people and businesses who flout social distancing restrictions

FINES: Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall with Superintendent Scott Tanner.
FINES: Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall with Superintendent Scott Tanner.

NSW Police have new penalties will be enforced to ensure people adhere to social distancing restrictions, and district commander for the New England Police District superintendent Scott Tanner said they would be enforced.

Speaking at a press conference held by Adam Marshall on Thursday morning he said an on-the-spot fine of $1000 for and individual, or $5000 for a business that continued to break the social distancing rules were now in place.

Supt Tanner said thie pandemic was taking up a fair bit of his officers' time.

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"However, we do have the resources dedicated to it to make sure we work with all the other government departments, to make sure we get on top of this crisis," he said.

"I want to assure the community that the rest of the business that we do, the domestics, assaults and the normal business, we are still doing.

"We are also still doing random breath and drug testing. While we may have modified some of our behaviour, we are still doing our full business."

He said the more than 230 officers attached to the New England Police District had not needed to rely on any external forces at this stage. A Police Continuity Plan allowed him to draw on any of the 17,000 other officers available statewide should he ever need to.

"We're confident we've got the resources and the necessary people to meet this challenge," Supt Tanner said.

He said his offers also had a great relationship with Queensland Police and would work with them cross-border if required.

Mr Marshall said with confirmed cases in our region it was important that people obey the new restriction orders.

"COVID-10 is not something which is on our doorstep - it is here," he said.

"I want to thank all of our front line staff, doctors, nurses, ambulance and police, who are working tirelessly to protect our communities during this very difficult time."

Mr Marshall said from Thursday the community would have more access to information about the spread of COVID-19 in their local area, as NSW Health published daily updates of confirmed cases of the virus in each local government area across the state.

The new information will be available on NSW Health's website.

This story COVID-19 fines to be enforced by police first appeared on The Armidale Express.