COVID, News

Police crackdown on compliance as entire state goes into lockdown from today

TO protect the people from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the NSW Government will introduce new restrictions, effective from 5pm tonight until 12.01am Sunday 22 August 2021.

Following updated health advice from NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in regional NSW.

This means the whole of NSW will be under stay at home restrictions from 5pm today.

This new order will replace any existing orders in regional NSW.

The snap-statewide lockdown follows the announcement of Operation Stay at Home, to be launched on Monday across the state. Significantly, 1400 police officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be dedicated to both static and mobile COVID-19 compliance operations on the state’s roads. A further 500 Australian Defence Force troops, in addition to the 300 already deployed, will assist with compliance checks and patrols.

Everyone must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. They also cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends.

People still can have one visitor at one time to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together.

All hospitality venues must be closed to the public, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, except for takeaway.

Retail premises are required to close except for:

  • supermarkets and grocery shops,
  • shops that predominantly sell food or drinks eg butchers, bakeries, fruit shops and delicatessens, but does not include restaurants or cafes.
  • chemists and pharmacies,
  • kiosks
  • shops that predominately sell office supplies, pet supplies, newspapers, magazines and stationery, alcohol, maternity and baby supplies, medical or pharmaceutical supplies
  • food and drink premises, but only to sell takeaway
  • cellar door premises, but only to sell takeaway
  • hardware and building supplies
  • landscaping material supplies
  • rural supplies
  • timber yards
  • garden centres and plant nurseries,
  • vehicle hire premises, not including the premises at which vehicles are sold,
  • shops that predominately carry out mobile phone repairs.

Service stations, banks, post offices, laundromats and drycleaners can remain open.

Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when working outdoors, by all school staff, by all people in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food.

Every employer across NSW must require their employees to work from home unless it is not reasonably practicable.

It is a reasonable excuse to leave your home for work – but only if it is not practicable to work from home.

There will be a one-day ‘grace period’ for planned weddings and funerals in the regional areas that have not already been subject to a lockdown. Those events may go ahead until 12.01am on Monday 16 August 2021, but only with guests from areas that have not already been subject to a lockdown. From Monday, small funerals and memorial services of 10 persons only (excluding the persons conducting the service) will be permitted. 

NSW Health urges people to continue to present for testing with even the mildest of cold-like symptoms.

There are more than 440 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest testing clinic, visit our website

Special rules remain in place for the affected local government areas in Greater Sydney.

For further information, please see nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules.​

Meanwhile Operation Stay at Home will be launched by NSW police from 12.01am Monday, August 16, 2021, in a significant boost to public health order enforcement efforts across the state.

The operation will utilise resources from all Police Districts and Police Area Commands under Metropolitan and Regional NSW Field Operations alongside officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command, Dog and Mounted Unit, and a number of other specialist commands as required.

Significantly, 1400 officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be dedicated to both static and mobile Covid-19 compliance operations on the state’s roads.

A further 500 Australian Defence Force troops, in addition to the 300 already deployed, will assist with compliance checks and patrols.

Operation Stay at Home will be coordinated from the Police Operations Centre (POC) in Sydney under the command of Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the NSW Government was supporting the Commissioner’s call for assistance in the most practical way.

“The Commissioner asked for tighter Public Health Orders and the government agreed, the Commissioner asked for higher fines and the Government agreed, and the Commissioner asked for more ADF personnel and we have an additional 500 highly-trained ADF personnel arriving to assist,” Mr Elliott said.

“We’ve had to tighten the current public health orders because of the minority who exploited them. Enough is enough. If you do it, you will get fined.

“The only way out of this Covid-19 crisis is if we support each other and support the NSW Police-led compliance operation, Operation Stay at Home.”

Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, Metropolitan Field Operations, said the operation would see more police on the ground across Greater Sydney, utilising some of the strongest powers ever given to police.

“The level of non-compliance by some members of the community is unacceptable and we will be doubling down with compliance and enforcement to make sure we get ahead of the Delta strain,” Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said.

“It only takes one person to do the wrong thing to facilitate considerable spread of the virus.

“We will be issuing $5000 fines to people and closing any businesses which continue to breach the health orders, and will not apologise for these increased enforcement efforts going forward.”


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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