NSW Police have been equipped to enforce all COVID-19 ministerial directions in Dubbo and across the state.
The NSW Police Force has launched operation coronavirus, with highly specialised officers providing practical and logistical support to the 17,000-strong workforce.
Police officers will ensure people are following the rules, including covering incoming travellers, diagnosed persons, mass gatherings, social distancing rules, and the closure of social gathering places.
The NSW Government's recent amendment to the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) legislation provides NSW police with the additional power to issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) to anyone who disobeys any of the ministerial directions.
PINs carry on-the-spot fines of $1000 for individuals and $5000 for businesses. This is in addition to the existing enforcement powers available, which include issuing Court Attendance Notices.
Commissioner Mick Fuller said the circumstances call for strong action and police were ready to respond.
"This health crisis is like nothing we have ever experienced, with more than 1000 cases now confirmed in NSW, with numbers continuing to grow," he said.
"Disturbingly, our officers have already responded to dozens of reports of breaches of ministerial directions from members of the community.
"This is astounding, and incredibly disappointing, as these people are putting themselves and the wider community at an unacceptable risk. The last thing we want to do is to have to use police powers to ensure compliance, but let me be clear - we have been using them and we will continue to do so."
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Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the measures were tough but necessary.
"We are still seeing reckless and irresponsible behaviour that endangers the lives of others, particularly to elderly and immunocompromised members of the community," Mr Elliott said.
"The rules are clear. No more than one person should occupy a two by two metre area. If you decide to ignore a direction, you may find yourself slapped with a hefty fine."