A LEETON man will be fined after he allegedly refused to wear a mask and follow public health orders.
The 63-year-old man was asked by officers, who were in the Leeton Market Plaza on Sunday, to wear a mask in line with the orders which were put in place for regional NSW late on June 26.
Police allege the man refused to do so and he will now receive an infringement notice where he will need to pay a fine for breaching the public health order.
It was announced by the state government on June 25 that mask wearing was now compulsory in regional NSW when in an indoor area of non-residential premises.
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The Murrumbidgee Police District will now be enforcing this public health order, as has already been the case with the incident in Leeton.
Chief Inspector John Wadsworth from the Murrumbidgee Police District said officers started compliance checks soon after the order was brought in at 6pm on June 25.
"Across the district ... police have been happy with how people are complying," he said.
"It is catching on and we are finding really good compliance.
"We've only had one person so far that has really thumbed their nose at us."
Examples of the areas where a face mask must be worn are:
- Retail or business premises that provide goods or services to members of the public who attend the premises, including supermarkets, shopping centres (excluding an indoor recreation facility in a shopping centre), bank branches and post offices, hairdressing, nail, beauty, tanning and waxing salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours, betting agencies.
- Any part of a licensed premises that is used for the purposes of gaming, and gaming lounges.
- Places of public worship being used for public worship or religious services.
- Residential aged care facilities.
- Gym classes or dance classes.
- COVID-19 safe outdoor gatherings.
- Controlled outdoor gatherings.
- Entertainment facilities (such as theatres, cinemas, music and concert halls).
- Major recreation facilities (such as stadiums, showgrounds, theme parks, racecourses, and motor racing tracks).
- Indoor recreation facilities (unless it is strenuous exercise).
"In the initial stages, we have been going around to the usual indoor venues like supermarkets, hotels, clubs to conduct checks ... we want to specify we are there to work with people," Chief Inspector Wadsworth said.
"But if we see there is blatant non-compliance then we have the avenue of dishing out infringement notices and they will be given out."
Chief Inspector Wadsworth encouraged businesses to also get in touch if they have any issues with customers refusing to wear masks indoors.
"As a venue owner or worker ... if someone is not complying you can certainly call us," he said.
He likened the situation to being similar to when a person is asked to leave a licensed venue and they refuse - staff of these venues can then call on police for assistance in dealing with the person.
For more information about mask wearing and other COVID-19 restrictions in regional NSW visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.
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