Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian told a press conference that fines for non-compliance with stay-at-home orders had risen from A $ 1,000, about $ 737, to A $ 5,000, or $ 3,700, according to Reuters.
As local authorities consider easing some restrictions as Sydney’s nine-week lockdown is due to end on August 28, limits on activities are expected to continue, with Berejiklian saying on Saturday that “September and October are going to be very tough.”
“It is literally a war, and we know that we have been at war for some time, but never at this point,” she added, according to Reuters.
New South Wales recorded 466 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, surpassing the previous record of 390 set the day before, Reuters reported.
Four new coronavirus-related deaths were also reported on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 42 in the recent coronavirus outbreak.
“We have to accept that this is the worst situation New South Wales has found itself in since day one,” Berejiklian told reporters. “And it is also unfortunately, because of this, the worst situation Australia has found itself in. ”
Reuters reported that a new fine of $ 2,210 (AU $ 3,000) would be imposed on people entering rural areas of the state without an official permit, with stay-at-home orders now issued for areas that do not. were not previously included in closures.
While Australia has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, its number remains far lower than other wealthy countries around the world.
The country recorded a total of more than 38,600 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with at least 953 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The recent lockdowns in Sydney and New South Wales sparked backlash, with thousands taking part in protests late last month to push back the restrictions.
Violent clashes erupted between protesters and police as authorities attempted to quell protests to prevent any further outbreaks of COVID-19.
Berejiklian said at the time that she was “disgusted” by the anti-lockdown protests, adding that she hoped they would not be a “setback” for the state as it tried to prevent further virus outbreaks.