New South Wales Police are now able to hand out on-the-spot fines to anyone who breaches public health orders or ministerial directions during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Officers have the power to issue fines of $1,000 to individuals and $5,000 to businesses that breach public health directives.
People in the firing line include returned travellers who contravene the requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days and those diagnosed with Covid-19 who similarly don't follow the rules.
Officers can also issue Court Attendance Notices with a maximum penalty of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment for individuals.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the circumstances call for strong action and Police are ready to respond.
"This health crisis is like nothing we have ever experienced, with more than 1000 cases now confirmed in NSW, and the numbers continuing to grow.
"I’m encouraged that most members of the community are taking this issue seriously and are adhering to the government advice.
"However, disturbingly, our officers have already responded to dozens of reports of breaches of ministerial directions from members of the community.
"This is astounding, and incredibly disappointing, as these people are putting themselves and the wider community at an unacceptable risk.
"The last thing we want to do is to have to use Police powers to ensure compliance, but let me be clear, we have been using them and we will continue to do so," the Commissioner said.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the measures were tough but necessary to minimise the risk the pandemic poses to public safety.
Image: NSW Police