WA Police could soon be issuing on-the-spot fines for those found not to be adhering to quarantine and social distancing measures enforced in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The state government has announced the formation of a 200-strong police enforcement squad and plans to introduce new legislation that would allow officers to issue fines of up to $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses found not to be adhering to isolation measures.
Current social distancing measures include minimising all unnecessary contact, remaining 1.5 metres away from others, avoiding physical greetings and gatherings and paying for goods using EFTPOS.
Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that drones would be used in parks, beaches and other public spaces to deliver announcements and reinforce the serious nature of the situation.
The squad is the latest in a suite of state and federal government measures designed to stop the spread of the virus and comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced strengthened self-distancing advice, which includes:
- Gatherings in a public space or other areas not including more than two people, unless it is with those living in the same residence
- People staying at home unless shopping for essential supplies, receiving medical care, exercising or going to school/work if they cannot do so remotely
- People aged 70 and over, those with chronic illnesses over 60 and Indigenous persons over 50 staying at home, self-isolating and limiting their contact with others
From today, public areas, including playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skate parks, will also be closed.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook announced that the number of confirmed cases in WA had reached 355.