NSW restrictions to be in place for 90 days
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has hit out at people who are still ignoring restrictions on public gatherings.
He also said restrictions on public gatherings would be in place for at least another 90 days.
The laws came into effect on Tuesday, meaning they will be in place until June 29.
The Federal Government announced on Sunday night that tough restrictions to slow the spread of the potentially-deadly coronavirus would be taken up a notch, cutting the previous gathering limit of 10 people to two.
And in NSW, there are only 16 "reasonable excuses" as to why you need to leave your home - anyone without one can now cop six months in jail or an $11,000 fine.
The NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement Order 2020) makes it unlawful to leave your place of residence unless it's for an essential purpose - obtaining groceries, exercising, medical or compassionate care, and working or studying that cannot be done from home.
It's the concept of exercise, Mr Fuller said this morning, that people seem to be struggling to define.
"In terms of the new isolation powers, certainly lots of questions about exercise. I don't get it," he said at a press conference, adding the Government want people to stay physically and psychologically fit and healthy.
"But of course if I said that it's OK to sit on a park bench, then everyone is going to go to the park. We're going to end up where we started. On a hot day at Bondi Beach a couple of weekends ago, one person said they were going to go for a swim and we ended up with 10,000 people."
Mr Fuller said three tickets had been issued in the past 24 hours in relation to people breaching isolation rules.
"Four men in a park, drinking alcohol. Not exercise. Three of the men left. One refused to go. He got a $1000 ticket."
Tickets are not being issued without a prior warning, the Commissioner noted. "They didn't just get a ticket. They were asked to follow a discretion and they didn't. We're trying to be reasonable."
NSW is the state at the heart of Australia's coronavirus outbreak, with close to 2300 cases of the virus confirmed. Almost 5000 people have been infected with COVID-19 around the nation, and 21 people have died, 10 of whom were in NSW.
Commissioner Fuller said the current social distancing rules will be in place for 90 days - until the end of June, after which he would not seek to extend them, saying he hopes "people have gotten the message by then".
"I would just ask that the community works with us on this, and they understand that we're trying to slow the spread of the virus by minimising unnecessary contact. The safest place is home, in isolation."
Originally published as 'Drinking in the park is not exercise'