Three removalists who allegedly had knowledge they were COVID positive before travelling from metropolitan Sydney to Molong are among the latest people to breach the Public Health Order in the past 24 hours.
Just after 2.30pm on Friday, officers from Central West Police District attended Speedy Street, Molong, and spoke with four men - aged 21, 49 and two aged 27 - after receiving information they had travelled there from West Hoxton.
Police established the men, who were working as removalists, had travelled from West Hoxton to Figtree, before travelling to Molong, stopping in regional areas including South Bowenfels and Orange along the way.
It will be alleged three of the men travelled to Molong after being notified they had tested positive to COVID-19.
Police escorted all the men and their vehicles back to Greater Sydney where they have been instructed to isolate for 14-days.
The younger three men were issued Court Attendance Notices for not comply with noticed direction re section 7/8/9 - COVID-19.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott was troubled by this significant breach of the Public Health Orders.
"This thoughtless act has now placed our regional communities in NSW at the greatest risk so far with this pandemic," Mr Elliott said.
"We know that the delta variant is highly transmissible, and it is unfathomable to think that, with all the public information and health warnings, people could so blatantly ignore the health orders."
State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys, said police will be increasing their response to ensure public safety is the number one priority.
"Currently, we are seeing millions of people right across this state doing the right thing being let down by a small minority who continue to be irresponsible and put themselves and their communities at risk," Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
"Today's strengthening of the health orders means that people will have to change the way that they behave.
"The greater restrictions will see police ramping up our response across all of greater Sydney and regional areas to ensure people comply with the health orders and that public safety is the number one priority," he said.
In total, police have issued 162 Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) and charged 18 people for breaches of the Public Health Act in the past 24 hours.
Police attended more than 1,000 COVID-related jobs yesterday, with about 630 of those coming from reports to Crime Stoppers.