Police urge residents to ‘Do the right thing’ and isolate

By Zoe McMaugh

Another Deniliquin resident has been charged with breaching conditions relating to COVID-19 isolation.

The 49 year-old Deniliquin man has been fined for failing to comply with the minister’s direction after reportedly leaving his home to purchase cigarettes about 10.30am Wednesday.

Police said he had only returned a day earlier from a month-long stay in Victoria and was therefore subject to a 14 day isolation order.

For breaching the order, police said the man was fined $1000.

He is the fourth Deniliquin resident to be charged with failing to comply with isolation orders.

Two Deniliquin residents — a 31 year-old Deniliquin man and a 33 year-old Deniliquin woman — were fined with breaching the conditions of their permits on July 25.

They had returned from a short trip to Victoria on July 21, but were seen in the Deniliquin CBD on July 25.

An 80 year-old Deniliquin man was issued the same non-compliance fine on July 28. He had gone to a Deniliquin business after returning from Victoria a day earlier.

Deniliquin Police officer in charge Jy Brown has said community members need to ‘‘do the right thing’’ to keep everyone safe.

Det Insp Brown said the legal penalty for breaching conditions is nothing compared to the impact it could have on people’s health.

‘‘Deniliquin has a large population of elderly people, and the statistics coming out of Victoria tell us that the aged care sector is the hardest hit by this virus,’’ Det Insp Brown said.

‘‘But someone in their 30s has also died from the virus in Victoria, so no-one is immune from this.

‘‘If people don’t do the right thing, the risk of exposure to the virus and possibly death is increased.

‘‘The rules are in place for a reason, and should be well known by now, and at the end of the day we will continue to enforce the directions.

‘‘The fine for failing to comply is $1000 and each additional day you breach the order you will be fined $500.

‘‘Anyone who fails to provide information at the border, or gives false information, will be fined $4000.

‘‘Police can also issue a court attendance notice for failing to comply, and the courts could impose a six month prison sentence or the $1000 fine.’’

There are a number of businesses in town who are offering delivery services to those unable to do their own shopping, which Det Insp Brown urges people in isolation to utilise.

He also said protecting your community takes more than just staying at home in isolation.

‘‘If you feel unwell or have cold like symptoms, please take every precaution and contact the Murrumbidgee hotline (1800 831 099) to book a test.

‘‘And remember, you must isolate at least until you get your results.

‘‘We have to be mindful of what is happening in Victoria.

‘‘If you are unsure of what you can and cannot do, contact Deniliquin Police Station (5881 9299), speak with Services New South Wales or visit its website to apply for and read permit conditions.

‘‘These are trying times, but if we all do the right thing they will improve.’’