Seven more people have been hit with fines after breaching COVID-19 quarantine rules in the Northern Territory in actions police say are “utterly unacceptable”.
Those hit with $ 1106 fines include a 47-year-old man who arrived from Victoria on Monday and dined out the following day, in breach of restrictions placed on his movements.
Details of the fines came after the Territory recorded its first case in almost three months on Thursday.
A Darwin man in his 30s, who recently returned to Australia from Pakistan, tested positive for the virus soon after arriving from Melbourne on Monday.
He had spent two weeks in quarantine but then stayed with relatives in one of the city’s infection hot spots for several days.
NT Police Acting Commander Shaun Gill said with more people flouting virus restrictions it was clear they weren’t getting the message that such breaches put the entire community at risk.
“The Territory now has a new case of COVID-19 so it is utterly unacceptable that the selfish actions of a few expose the public to potential danger,” Cdr Gill said on Friday.
“The chief health officer’s directions are in place to keep Territorians safe.
“If you are in quarantine, you must abide by the directions. No excuse is acceptable.”
So far, NT police have issued 110 fines after conducting almost 22,000 compliance checks.
Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said the new virus infection in the Territory is a warning to all that COVID-19 has not gone away.
“What’s important is that everything that we have put in place seems to have worked and Territorians need to be assured that there’s no risk to the community,” he said.
“In this case, the traveller did have some symptoms and he did contact the team to have a test.
“He did all the right things.”
The man was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital and is in isolation but is experiencing only mild symptoms.
The NT recorded its last coronavirus case on April 6 and had gone 42 days without an active infection.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the new case would not change the government’s decision to relax border restrictions on July 17, when only travellers from hot spots would be required to quarantine.
Australian Associated Press