A man has been fined A$1000 ($1024) after he was caught eating a kebab on a park bench in Newcastle.

The man, 21, was fined on Wednesday after he'd allegedly failed to comply with two previous warnings from police after failing to observe new social distancing measures.

After giving the man two warnings, officers from Newcastle City Police found the man on Market St in Newcastle eating a kebab on a park bench. He was then slapped with the A$1000 fine.

Ministerial guidelines have given police powers to issue on-the-spot fines to people who won't comply with social distancing guidelines under the Public Health Act. In NSW members of the public violating these rules can be handed fines of up to A$1000.


Gatherings of more than two people, apart from immediate family, are banned as are all non-essential activities to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said police were trying to make reasonable decisions when enforcing the new rules and he's urged NSW residents to use common sense.

The police commissioner is personally reviewing each infringement notice. He said the rules are in place for 90 days until June 29 and hopefully not longer.

The announcement came with a raft of other fines handed out across NSW and Victoria, including police spotting a man and woman sitting in their car in Muswellbrook in the NSW Hunter Valley on Wednesday.

After conducting inquiries police found the man, 27, and the woman, 32, both didn't have "a reasonable excuse not to be at home". Both were handed Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs).

Police also attended a single vehicle car crash in Lavington, where the sole occupant, a man, 51, allegedly told police he was on his way to visit his drug dealer.

The man was arrested and taken to hospital for blood and urine tests, and checks later revealed he'd been disqualified from driving.

He was given a Future Court Attendance Notice and a PIN for contravening a Public Health Order.


They also fined two men who were spotted drinking alcohol at Casey's Beach Reserve at Batehaven.

Police allege when they were approached by officers they "became abusive and claimed they were exercising".

One of the men, 41, was charged with an unrelated offence and given an infringement notice for breaching a Public Health Order and the other man, 44, was given an infringement notice and moved along.

NSW Police said in total they handed out 13 PINs over a 24-hour period.

"I certainly won't be seeking an extension – people will have gotten the message by then, hopefully," he told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

Fuller urged people who are confused about the rules to act as if they have Covid-19 and stay home in isolation.


"A good rule of thumb is that if you are questioning whether you should be doing something, it is best to give it a miss," he said.