NEWS
31/03/2020 10:56 AM AEDT | Updated 31/03/2020 1:40 PM AEDT

What Are Australia’s New Fines For Breaking Social Distancing Rules

“Any more than two people out, you will get a fine.”

NurPhoto via Getty Images
An information signboard 'Keep min 15m distance' is seen at outdoor playground at Sydney Olympic Park area on March 30, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Izhar Khan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

See the latest stories on the coronavirus outbreak. 

As tough restrictions on leaving the house came into play overnight, authorities confirmed police will issue on the spot fines to enforce social distancing rules. 

At least 4,200 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Australia and 18 people have died.

New South Wales has the highest statistic at 2,032 cases.

The virus has killed more than 35,000 people worldwide and more than 738,500 are infected.

The fresh government orders mean people in NSW could pay up to $11,000 in court ordered fines. 

Public gatherings are now limited to only two people aside from members of your immediate household. The advice is to stay home unless you’re getting groceries, medical attention, picking up medication from a chemist or meeting one other person to exercise. 

“It means that if you need to exercise, we get it - go for a walk, sensibly, on your own. You can still meet a personal trainer if you have to,” Police Commissioner Michael Fuller said on Tuesday. 

Here are the fines you could cop in each state if you don’t comply with today’s ‘stay at home’ rules:     

New South Wales $1,000 On The Spot 

The New South Wales Health Act gives police additional powers around restricting the movement of people. 

“Any more than two people out, you will get a fine,” Police Commissioner Michael Fuller said on Tuesday. 

Under the new rules from Section 10 of the Public Health Act 2010, those who leave the house without a “reasonable excuse” could face six months in jail or a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) fine of up to $11,000 (or both) plus a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues.” 

Examples of reasonable excuses for leaving the house include donating blood, travelling to childcare services, or “avoiding injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.” 

NSW Gov
A government-issued list of reasonable reasons to leave the house.

Individuals breaking the new social distancing rules can cop a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) of $1,000 and these will be issued on the spot. 

Police in NSW have issued 13 fines for breaching the rules since the restrictions started. 

Victoria $1,600 On The Spot 

Individuals who have returned from overseas, and do not follow quarantine rules, can be fined $20,000 and company fines “could be up to $100,000.” 

People unnecessarily leaving the house and gathering in groups larger than two people can be fined $1,652 by police. 

Individuals who don’t follow social distancing rules can be hit with on-the-spot fines of $1,652 and businesses can cop fines of $9,913.

Queensland $1,334 On The Spot 

If you break social distancing rules in the sunshine state, expect an on the sopt fine of $1,334. 

If a person is suspected to have breached self-isolation in QLD, authorities will make sure the person fully understands their obligations, but also the importance and seriousness of self-quarantine under the exceptional global circumstances.

“Any further failure to comply may be subject to enforced quarantine and receiving fines of up to $13,345 and other penalties,”

South Australia $1,000 On The Spot 

Individuals will cop $1,000 on-the-spot fines for flouting social distancing rules, while businesses will receive $5,000 fines. 
For a breach of quarantine, fines can be up to $25,000.

ACT 

People will first receive a warning for not following social distancing rules, but if warnings are ignored, fines will be issued. 
Individuals who have returned from overseas, and do not follow quarantine rules, can be fined $8,000 and company fines are up to $40,500.

Northern Territory 

NT’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s office confirmed with HuffPost Australia visitors and Australian citizens who break self-isolation rules could face six months in prison or a $1256 fine. 

Tasmania 

Breaking the rules in Tasmania can end up with individuals being fined $1,000 on the spot. 

Tasmanians who fail to self-isolate correctly may have to pay up to $16,800 in fines.