Can I walk my dog, go to the shops, pick up the kids without risking an $11,000 fine?

GOING OUT: From Tuesday, March 31 an individual can be given a $11,000 fine for leaving home without a 'reasonable excuse'. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
GOING OUT: From Tuesday, March 31 an individual can be given a $11,000 fine for leaving home without a 'reasonable excuse'. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

It may be OK to walk your dog and grab some groceries, but go jogging with a few friends and you now risk being hit with an $11,000 fine.

Overnight a public health order was introduced by the NSW Government to beef up the state's social distancing rules and encourage people to stay home.

From Tuesday an individual can now be fined $11,000 or be sent to jail for six months, or both, for leaving their home without a "reasonable excuse".

But just what is a reasonable excuse?

Purchasing food is allowed, so is attending a medical appointment and travelling to and from work if you can't work from home.

In order to clarify just what is and isn't allowed, the government has a list of what they will accept as a "reasonable excuse", these include:

  • Obtaining food or other goods or services for the personal needs of the household or other household purposes (including for pets) and for vulnerable people
  • Travelling for work, if you can't work from home
  • Travelling for childcare (including picking up or dropping another person at childcare)
  • Travelling to attend school or other educational institutions, if the person attending cannot learn from home
  • Exercising
  • Obtaining medical care or supplies or health supplies or fulfilling carer's responsibilities
  • Attending a wedding, but no more than five people are allowed (including the person conducting the service)
  • Attending a funeral, but no more than 10 people are allowed (including the person conducting the service)
  • Moving to a new place of residence (including a business moving to new premises) or between different places of residence of the person or inspecting a potential new place of residence
  • Providing care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person or providing emergency assistance
  • Donating blood
  • Undertaking any legal obligations
  • Accessing public services (these can be to government, private or non-government organisations). These can include: social, employment, domestic violence and mental health services; as well as services provided to victims (including as victims of crime)
  • For children who do not live in the same household as their parents or siblings or one of their parents or siblings-continuing existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children or siblings
  • A priest, minister of religion or member of a religious order may go to their place of worship or provide pastoral care to another person
  • If you need to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • For emergencies or compassionate reasons

Corporations that fail to comply with a direction are liable to a fine of $55,000 and $27,500 each day the offence continues.

What is the two-person limit?

Social gatherings are now limited to a maximum of two people at indoor and outdoor settings.

However, the limit does not apply to people in your household. As an example your family of five may drive to the park to walk your dog together.

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This story Can I walk my dog, go to the shops, pick up the kids without risking an $11,000 fine? first appeared on Daily Liberal.