An essential worker from Palm Beach who was permitted to leave the Greater Sydney lockdown to travel down to Jindabyne but then stayed on to ski at Thredbo has been reported to NSW Police and fined.
The call came into Crime Stoppers about the 66-year-old man on Thursday, reporting how he had travelled down to Jindabyne 10 days ago and, at the conclusion of his business meeting, had turned left and headed to the snowfields instead of returning directly home.
NSW Police said the man had now been directed to self-isolate for 14 days at his temporary accommodation in Jindabyne, and had been issued with a $1000 fine for failing to comply with a specific public health direction.
Deputy Commissioner Mick Willing, who runs Regional NSW Field Operations including the southern region encompassing Cooma and Jindabyne, said he was very keen for people who live in the snowfields to help out police by nominating those who they believe may be in breach of the Greater Sydney lockdown or those in place in other local government areas.
"For the last couple of weeks I have been running an operation which covers the non-metro NSW regions covering the main thoroughfares and backroads out of Sydney to try and check compliance of people leaving the lockdown area in breach of the health orders," he said.
"That's been going well, but we're still getting people who do leave Sydney.
"They either do it in complete disregard to health orders, or are completely reckless in their understanding of the health orders.
"By and large, the regional communities are abiding by the orders and are being really helpful.
"But the really important message - and this latest Thredbo breach is a really good example of that - is that we need the people living in the regions to help give us information, to ring Crime Stoppers and let us know if they become aware something is amiss, or if people aren't doing the right thing."
NSW Police are using a "sliding defence" system on the highways in an effort to keep Sydney lockdown breaches from occurring.
Deputy Commissioner Willing said one day this week around 70 per cent of the calls to Crime Stoppers were reports provided by people living in regional areas who believed there was a breach of public health orders.
"That's really good to get those calls. I know that some of [the calls] will be vexatious, but we will sort through that," he said.
"It's really important that we protect the NSW regions as much as we can by keeping this Delta strain contained, and to do that we need those communities to give us information so we can follow up."
The NSW ski resorts of Thredbo and Perisher are reporting reasonable patronage numbers and great snow conditions, although the number of lifts operating has not reached capacity.
At Perisher, awareness that a single Covid breach could shut the entire resort down has sparked an intense adherence to public health directions, with patrons being advised that properly fitted masks, not ski balaclavas, neck warmers or face shields, are required at all indoor venues, and QR code check-ins are being verified before service at any venue.
"With the recent snowfall and more fresh snow forecast, we're looking forward to getting through the lockdown and welcoming guests from all areas back," a Perisher spokesperson said.
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