A Sydney massage parlour has become the first small business to be issued a fine for breaching the new coronavirus lockdown rules.
In a stark warning to all businesses, Sydney police said a Sussex Street massage parlour has been issued a $5,000 Penalty Infringement Notice after it continued to operate on Thursday contrary to the government’s lockdown order.
Three of its staff members were also fined $1,000 each for showing up to work on Thursday.
The police said it is conducting proactive operations to ensure individuals and businesses are complying with all ministerial directions related to COVID-19.
After ordering the closure of all hospitality businesses on Monday, the Prime Minister announced another round of measures on Tuesday to stem functions identified as “major transmitting events”.
Among the businesses told to close were all spa and massage parlours, effective midnight Wednesday.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the rules could not be clearer and they apply to everyone.
“No one is above the law. If you decide to ignore a direction, you will be caught, and you may very well find yourself slapped with a hefty fine,” the minister said.
“The fact that people are still not complying is the reason why we have police out in full force enforcing these directions.”
With another round of lockdown measures expected over the coming days, the minister underlined that failing to comply with a Public Health Order “is not only reckless and stupid, but potentially deadly”.
NSW Police officers now have the additional power to issue Penalty Infringement Notices to anyone found to be in contravention of a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act.
PINs carry on-the-spot fines of $1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses.
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.
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