A series of new Covid-19 restrictions will take effect across Australia from midnight local time and people face stiff penalties for breaking them.

Indoor and outdoor meetings will be limited to a maximum of two people, with a few exceptions under the measures announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

People have been urged to stay home unless shopping for essentials; leaving for medical or compassionate care; exercising outdoors while distancing; or if they must work or study and can't do so from home.

In Queensland, no more than 10 people will be allowed inside a home at any one time.

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Queensland Police now have powers to issue infringement notices for breaches of quarantine directions of up to A$13,345 ($13,600) for individuals and A$66,672 for businesses.


All passengers arriving on international flights in Queensland, who are returning home or passing through, will be held in local hotels for 14 days, under new quarantine measures that came into effect at the weekend.

Officers can also issue on-the-spot fines of A$1334 for individuals and A$6672 for businesses that fail to abide by state health directions.

There are now 4166 confirmed coronavirus cases across the country.

That includes 1918 in New South Wales, 821 in Victoria, 656 in Queensland, 299 in South Australia, 311 in Western Australia, 66 in Tasmania, 77 in the Australian Capital Territory and 14 in the Northern Territory.

A total of 17 Australians have died from Covid-19, with Tasmania announcing its first death this morning.


A man who recently returned to Australia from overseas is behind bars after police stopped him from going outside for a third time in two days, NSW Police said.

The 30-year-old, who landed at Sydney International Airport after flying home from Jordan on March 18, was ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days in case he had the coronavirus.

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But he allegedly went out on Saturday, was given a A$1000 on-the-spot fine and ordered to return home.

Later he was arrested on Pitt St in the CBD, charged with disobeying a ministerial direction under the Public Health Act and granted bail to appear in court in May.

But because of his alleged failure to self-isolate, a public health order was made directing him to do so at a serviced apartment at Camperdown. He was arrested again after he allegedly tried to leave the flat.

THE NEW MEASURES

Indoor and outdoor meetings will be limited to a maximum of two people, with a few exceptions:

– People who live in the same household going out together

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– Attending a funeral (maximum of 10 people)

– Attending a wedding (maximum of five people)

The Government has also urged people to stay home, and only leave their home if they:

– are shopping for essentials, such as food and sanitary items

– require medical or healthcare needs

– have compassionate care duties

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– are exercising outdoors (while keeping a safe distance from others, and only with one other person or people of the same household)

– are working or studying and unable to do so from home

Public outdoor spaces including outdoor gyms, skate parks and playgrounds will also be closed.

Police have the power to issue on-the-spot fines, which vary in amount by state and territory, to anyone found to be disobeying these rules.