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Sydney Lockdown: Paddington family fined after travelling three hours for horse event

A family from Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been slapped with massive fines after allegedly flouting the city’s strict Covid-19 rules and travelling across the state.

A man and woman from Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been slapped with big fines after allegedly travelling nearly three hours across NSW despite strict stay-at-home orders.

A 56-year old man, from Paddington, and a 22-year old woman, from Maroubra, were each fined $1200 on Saturday after being discovered by police in the Hunter Region, northwest of Sydney.

The trip was in breach of stay-at-home orders issued by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this week, as the state grappled an escalating Covid-19 outbreak driven by the highly-contagious Delta variant.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the “vast majority” of NSW residents had complied with the updated rules, but warned of a further crackdown on anyone found in breach.

“No matter how people think that they have to attend some of these events with their children or need to go on holidays, public health orders are clear,” he said on Sunday.

“The family were issued an infringement notice and that will happen to any family who has travelled outside the metropolitan area and against public health orders.”

Mr Worboys claimed NSW residents had proved “quite willing” to dob in their neighbours, and Traffic and High Patrol police were “abundantly clear” about where people were likely to be in breach during the school holidays.

“They will be using their mobile technology to run a check on people, their vehicles, and see where inquiries need to be made,” he said.

Hunter Valley Police received a tip-off that three attendees at a horse trial event at a pony club in Denman were from Sydney and on arrival discovered the pair, accompanied by a 13-year old girl, were not wearing masks.

Further inquiries showed the group had travelled nearly three hours from Sydney’s eastern suburbs despite the strict stay-at-home orders imposed by the state government.

They were each issued with a $1000 for breaching the order, and $200 for failing to wear masks, while the girl was issued a warning.

NSW Police issued 15 infringements overnight.

The stay-at-home orders were expanded to all of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong on Saturday as Covid-19 case numbers remained high.

NSW confirmed another 30 locally-acquired cases on Sunday, all linked to the Bondi cluster, though 11 of those were already in isolation.

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