Canberrans face fines of up to $8000 and businesses $40,500 if they fail to follow the chief health officer's directions on self-isolation and business closures, but authorities are currently focusing on encouraging compliance rather than enforcement.
ACT Policing says it has established a taskforce to prepare its front-line resources to be able to respond as demand increases. It says officers are working with businesses to adhere to the new rules.
Meanwhile Access Canberra says it will visit more than 400 businesses this week in a compliance blitz enforcing new restrictions.
The fines apply to anyone who fails to go straight home after returning from overseas, organisers of indoor or outdoor gatherings, and "non essential" businesses that are operating.
Under the public health act, anyone who does not follow a direction of the ACT chief health officer at this time can be fined.
For individuals, the maximum penalty is $8000, while for corporations it's $40,500.
If the business is also a utility company, that maximum fine jumps to $1,620,000.
It does not appear that anyone has yet been fined under the rules.
ACT Police say they have been working with businesses to ensure they are adhering to the rules.
"Non-essential" businesses that must close include bars, pubs, cafes, gyms, nightclubs, casinos, and places of worship.
Cafes and restaurants are able to open for takeaway only.
As of midnight those restrictions will extend to foodcourts, open homes and beauty salons.
Hairdressers can remain open but can only see each client for up to 30 minutes.
An ACT Policing spokesman said officers responding to reports of an indoor or outdoor gathering will encourage compliance before considering enforcement of the penalties.
"However, officers may gather evidence for potential regulatory action in the future," he said.
"Over the weekend, ACT Policing attended several local venues and encouraged compliance with the ACT COVID-19 directions."
A dedicated business hotline has been established as part of the ACT government's local response. This line is 6205 0900.
The spokesman said police have established a taskforce to ensure a 24/7 police response was provided as demand due to COVID-19 grew.
"As needed, this taskforce will be able to redirect available resources to support ACT government and the community, by ensuring such things as compliance with health directions and a readiness to respond to any future government decisions," he said.
Access Canberra said its officers visited more than 100 businesses on Tuesday.
"We note that some businesses on Monday evening were finalising preparations for closure, such as having final staff meetings and undertaking stocktaking arrangements," an Access Canberra spokeswoman said.
A three-month commercial liquor permit will be extended to businesses to sell takeaway alcohol, provided they are in sealed containers.
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