Canberrans urged to continue COVID 19 compliance


ACT Policing is generally pleased with Canberra’s compliance with Health Directions, but urge the community to maintain their efforts and remain vigilant.

Since ACT’s Health Directions came into effect in March, ACT Policing has recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 incidents. These include responding to public information about possible breaches and proactive compliance patrols conducted by police. Since 4 May, ACT Policing has responded to 122 compliance-related jobs.

Possible breaches investigated have included incidents regarding individuals and businesses. To date, no infringements and seven cautions have been issued, including two in Jervis Bay.

Chief Police Officer Ray Johnson said he was pleased with the way the community had come together in recent weeks.

“We are now moving into the next phase of our response, helping the community adjust to restrictions eased by the ACT Government,” Chief Police Officer Johnson said.

“In the beginning, there were a lot of changes, and unfortunately we’re at that point again.

“There will be a lot more information coming, and for many activities there is still going to be limitations before Canberra is fully up and running.

“I urge all Canberrans to listen to the advice and follow directions for everyone’s safety. It is important to be alert and take personal responsibility for how you interact with your fellow Canberran.

“We have deliberately taken an ‘inform and educate’ approach and this will continue in the coming weeks.

“Over the weekend, the vast majority of COVID-19 incidents we attended were genuine misunderstandings of what is and is not permitted.

“On Saturday, members attended a sporting group in North Canberra conducting training with more than ten people. The group packed up when we advised them they were not able to conduct their training session under current directions.

“We also went out shopping malls and Green Square. Local stores had put appropriate physical distancing arrangements in place; however, higher traffic bottlenecks outside meant people were coming within 1.5m of each other and almost rubbing shoulders at times.

“Since March, we have issued seven official cautions, including one to a south Canberra residential gathering on the ANZAC long weekend.

“A caution has also been issued to a North Canberra business that allowed people to sit outside in the dining area. Customers inside were also not social distancing while in the takeaway line.

“My message to Canberra as restrictions change is please make yourself aware of what the rules are, and only venture out if you have to.

“This year, Canberrans have come together like never before. Your continued compliance with the Health Directions has saved lives. Please keep it up.”

ACT Policing will continue to work closely with the ACT Government in ensuring Health Directions compliance across the ACT as they change in the coming weeks and months.

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