Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has revealed that he was fined $200 for not wearing a face mask while paying for petrol.
Joyce told Sky News on June 29 that he’d simply forgotten to put a mask on while at a Caltex petrol station.
“I was on my way to the airport, forgot about putting on the mask, bang 200 bucks,” he said.
Police say they checked the service station’s CCTV and issued a $200 fine to a 54-year-old man for breaching an order under the NSW Public Health Act.
This comes as parts of the state are under lockdown due to an outbreak in Sydney of the Delta variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
State Emergency Operations Controller Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said it was just one of 34 COVID-19 infringement notices issued on Monday—with 16 of them infringements for failing to wear a fitted face covering.
“Police were alerted to that. They took some action. That person was apologetic and co-operative with police, and an infringement notice was issued,” he told reporters on June 29.
Joyce was recently re-elected as leader of the National Party, returning him to the position of deputy prime minister in the Liberal-National coalition government after a leadership challenge on former Nationals leader Michael McCormack.
The New South Wales (NSW) government imposed a two-week lockdown on the entire Greater Sydney region as a cluster of the Delta variant grew beyond the bounds of the initial hotspot zones in the city’s eastern suburbs.
At present, around 5 million people are subject to stay-at-home orders as authorities race to contain the outbreak.
However, NSW authorities believe they are getting on top of the outbreak stating that they expect numbers to tail off by the end of the week.
This comes as the state records 22 new local COVID-19 cases, after more than 68,000 tests, taking the outbreak to 171 locally acquired cases. Eleven of the cases have been in isolation for the entirety of their infectious period.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government’s initial fears there would be a significant ramp-up in CCP virus case numbers had not eventuated.
“Our fears about huge escalation haven’t materialised, and we certainly want to keep it that way,” Berejiklian said.
Meanwhile, NSW has tightened the regulations around travelling into the state from other regions.
NSW Health has announced that travellers from the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia are now subject to stay-at-home rules and should not travel to the NSW unless permitted to do so.
From Wednesday, anyone coming to NSW who has been in those areas in the previous 14 days must complete a declaration form.
AAP contributed to this report.