27 September 2023

Police spit dummy after being coughed on

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New Regulations setting a $5,000 on-the-spot fine for coughing or spitting on health workers, police, pharmacists, paramedics or other public officials during the COVID-19 health crisis have been announced by the Ministers for Health and Police, Brad Hazzard and David Elliott.

The Ministers announced the tough new measures in response to what they labelled “abhorrent acts” by some individuals in recent weeks.

“Every day our doctors and nurses, police and paramedics put their health and safety on the line to protect us,” Mr Hazzard said.

“A threat to them, is a threat to us,” he said.

“If you deliberately risk people’s health you will be fined and possibly imprisoned.”

Mr Hazzard said the change under the Public Health Regulation 2012 introduced a fine of $5,000 for breaching the new public health order.

He said individuals who intentionally spat or coughed on police officers during the pandemic could also face prosecution and up to six months in prison.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said it was incomprehensible that measures like this were necessary during a deadly global pandemic but that police stood ready to respond.

Commissioner Fuller said members of the public could call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if they had any concern that individuals were not complying with public health orders.

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