STARTING today, New South Wales residents returning from Victoria must now enter via Sydney Airport and go directly to a hotel quarantine facility for 14 days, with the exemption of residents who live close to the border.
Both NSW Police and NSW Health will manage the quarantine facilities and mandatory hotel quarantining will still apply to returned international travellers.
A NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) has also been released, meaning any passenger returning from Victoria must hold a valid permit or exemption that allows them to land at any regional NSW airport.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the hotel quarantine operation had been one of the state’s most effective tools in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“From today, NSW residents returning from Victoria will now also be required to enter either a NSW Police, or NSW Health-managed hotel,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“Make no mistake, mandatory hotel quarantine has undoubtedly saved many lives, particularly among our vulnerable community members, and will continue to do so as we navigate this public health threat,” he said.
“The professional management of this operation has dramatically reduced the risk of COVID-19 spread within the community and our officers will continue to do everything in their power to ensure that record is maintained going forward,” he said.
More than 36,000 people have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine period in Sydney hotels since March 29.
Operation Border Closure Commander, Assistant Commissioner Leanne McCusker, said strict infection control measures have been put in place at Sydney Airport.
“All travellers are assessed by NSW Health on arrival at Sydney Airport and those displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are escorted to a hotel managed by NSW Health, while the remainder are escorted to hotels managed by the NSW Police Force,” Assistant Commissioner McCusker said.
“These procedures are now well established and have served the community of NSW well, by dramatically reducing the community spread of COVID-19 within the state and keeping infection levels low,” she said.
The Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) provides police with the power to enforce Public Health Orders, as police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected COVID-19 breaches.
The standard penalty is a $1000 fine by way of a Penalty Infringement Notice however, failure to comply with Public Health Orders may result maximum penalty fine of $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment for individuals.
NSW Police reminds residents that it is an offence to provide police false information in relation to whether a person is authorised to enter NSW and the standard penalty for this offence is a $4,000 fine, by way of a Penalty Infringement Notice.
COVID-19 Public Health Order breaches should be reported via the Crime Stoppers tool, with all information treated in strict confidence.