Coronavirus: Man’s bizarre excuse for ignoring social distancing rules

NSW Police are continuing to crackdown on COVID-19 rule breakers, with officers issuing 55 fines across the state yesterday.One of the recipients of these penalties had an unusual excuse for officers after he was caught flouting social distancing rules.
At about 4.40pm Tuesday police found four people drinking in a park in Nimbin, in NSW’s Northern Rivers region.
Inquiries revealed a 27-year-old man in the group had travelled from Casino, about 50km away, despite restrictions on non-essential travel.
The man reportedly told police he made the trip “because he was bored” and even told officers he was aware of the restrictions but didn’t believe in the coronavirus outbreak.
However, his reasoning didn’t fly with the police and he was issued a $1000 fine.
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Here are some of the other notable fines that have been handed out recently:
• Just before 12.30pm yesterday police spoke with two men – aged 35 and 24 – outside a house on Eastern Circuit in Albury who both claimed they were at the location to ask about a loan.
“When questioned about the loan, the men could not provide further information and officers explained it was not a valid reason to be out in public as they were not at a financial institution,” NSW Police said.
During a search of their vehicle police allegedly found cannabis and a knife. The older man was charged with custody of knife in public place and possess prohibited drug and both were issued $1000 fines for being out of home without a reasonable excuse.
• Just after 11pm on Sunday police stopped and spoke to a 23-year-old man at Bondi Beach car park.
He told police he had been to buy McDonalds at Mascot and wanted to get out a bit.
“The man later claimed that he was there to exercise despite the time of the night and the fact that he was wearing thongs,” NSW Police said.
He was issued a $1000 fine.
• At about 9am yesterday police stopped a vehicle in Werris Creek, near Tamworth, and spoke with the 41-year-old male driver.
Checks revealed the man had been warned under the Public Health Act last week and was breaching his bail.
Despite the previous warnings the man told police “he thought he’d be all right this time”.
He was handed a fine and a Court Attendance Notice.
• At about 5.40pm yesterday police spotted two men having a BBQ and drinking alcohol in a park in Wollongong.
Checks showed that one of the men had been given a warning the previous day for failing to comply with restrictions at Central Railway Station.
The 30-year-old man was given a fine, while the other man was issued a warning.
• At about 2.45pm on Saturday police were patrolling the Wagga Wagga suburb of Ashmont when they stopped and spoke with a 29-year-old man.
“During a search of the man, police located and seized prohibited drugs,” NSW Police said.
“The man told officers he was dropping off some fast food to a friend but had instead allegedly purchased drugs.”
He was issued a fine and investigations are continuing.