NSW police fine 600 people on first day of Covid crackdown blitz

New South Wales police issued nearly 600 infringement notices to people flouting tough new health orders on the first day of a three-week crackdown designed to get the state’s escalating Covid crisis under control.

The deputy commissioner, Mal Lanyon, said some people were still not complying even after a 5km travel rule came into effect for greater Sydney and the state reported a record 478 new local Covid-19 cases and eight deaths on Monday – the state’s worst day of the pandemic.

“Yesterday we issued 579 infringement notices which is disappointing. It shows that people are still not complying. Thirty-four people received court attendant notices,” he told the Nine Network on Tuesday.

Police also conducted 3,800 welfare checks to see if people were following stay-at-home orders.

One Covid-positive man from the hotspot of Fairfield in Sydney’s south-west wasn’t home when police arrived and was later unable to provide an excuse for his actions, Lanyon said.

The entire state is now locked down and a 21-day police blitz came into effect on Monday to enforce new regulations, with almost 18,000 police officers supported by 800 members of the Australian defence force.

Tougher noncompliance fines of up to $5,000 are in place with people in greater Sydney confined to within 5km of their homes.

Police commissioner Mick Fuller warned that officers have been told to adopt “a no-nonsense approach” to people deliberately flouting laws.