People caught mistreating front-line coronavirus workers will now be fined $ 5,000 in New South Wales.
New South Wales Minister of Health Brad Hazzard made the announcement Thursday alongside union leaders in response to a series of “vile” acts against frontline workers in the state.
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“Unfortunately, we have had a series of incidents now where some of the most incredible frontline workers, to keep us safe, actually spit on them and people coughing on them,” said Hazzard.
“How incredibly ridiculous it is for anyone to think it is okay to spit or cough on frontline health workers, health officials, the police or even any of our border officials.” “
Hazzard said there would now be a $ 5,000 fine on the spot for anyone who commits such an act.
“These front-line workers take care of us and the fact is we have to take care of them, so this immediate fine of $ 5,000 will send a clear message that we are all one.”
“We are telling you to stop him or you will get away with a fine of $ 5,000.”
The Minister spoke to the media alongside three union leaders – Brett Holmes of the Nurses and Midwives Association, Tony King of the Police Association of NSW and Gerard Hayes of the Health Services Union.
“The Association of Nurses and Midwives has reported pretty horrible behavior from the community, a small number from the community,” said Brett Holmes secretary general of the Association of Nurses and Midwives.
“We welcome this legislation which reinforces the very strong message that if you see someone wearing a uniform, a health uniform – a nurse, a midwife or any other health worker or front line worker, police or even retail – coughing and spitting on them in a way to try to intimidate them is against the law and you will if you do. “
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He also spoke of the importance of community support for the excellent work being done by the Australian coronavirus front.
“This is a strong message to those people who ignorantly accuse health workers of spreading the disease,” he said.
Police ready to act
NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller said the police are ready to take action against anyone who breaks the rules.
“Faults like coughing and spitting, which can potentially spread COVID-19, pose a risk to public safety, so the police will not hesitate to take action,” said Fuller.
“The rules are clear and apply to everyone, so if you decide to ignore a direction, you will be caught and given a hefty fine and possibly a prison sentence.”