Expiation notices to be introduced for COVID-19 non-compliance, South Australia

From today, police will be able to issue an on-the-spot fine to those who fail to comply with directions made by the State Coordinator for the declared Major Emergency, under the Emergency Management Act 2004.

While penalties for non-compliance already exist within the Emergency Management Act 2004, they require the South Australia Police to initiate a prosecution which does not give officers access to an immediate, effective, and proportionate enforcement of these directions at this crucial time.

It is proposed that authorised officers will be able to issue expiation notices of $1,000 for non-compliance by a person and $5,000 for non-compliance by a body corporate.

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said, “It is important that authorised officers have this option to counteract individual cases of non-compliance and provide a swift deterrent to further non-compliance”.

“This in turn is key to achieving the desired public health outcomes, namely, minimising transmission of COVID-19 to flatten the infection rate curve”.

“While most people are doing the right thing and complying with these directions, there are still a minority within the community who are not complying with the restrictions and are putting others at risk.”

SA Health continue to provide a daily list to SAPOL for compliance checking of people with self-quarantine and self-isolation obligations. However, this has increased in numbers as police collect their own data through border control activities and calls to the Police Assistance Line and Crime Stoppers.

Since 16 March, SA Police have conducted 199 compliance checks of which nine were assessed as non-compliant. All of those have been provided information to educate them to reinforce in no uncertain terms how important and critical it is that they do comply with the requirements of isolation.

For businesses that have been directed to close, Police have undertaken a major education focus to assist businesses fully comprehend what the restrictions really mean for them and their staff.

A total of 3200 business compliance checks have been conducted with approximately 75 assessed as non-compliant since 16 March. Those businesses that were assessed as non-compliant were given specific directions and all have immediately complied from that point.

On 16 March, restrictions were put in place for people entering into South Australia from interstate and police are being supported by DPTI and PIRSA personnel at eleven border points across the state.

To our knowledge there has not been any adverse effects on the movement of heavy freight across the border and on most occasions, freight transport operators have been waved through to ensure food and essential supplies are not delayed.

Those who have legitimate business – or those who reside either side of the border and cross state borders regularly as a part of their daily routine – are considered ‘essential travellers’ and are being assisted at the border points.

/Public Release. View in full here.