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Fines for breaching Sydney's lockdown are doubled

Fines for Covid rule breakers in NSW have doubled and police can shut down businesses and construction sites under wide-ranging new powers. 

Speaking on Thursday a furious David Elliott, Minister for Police and Emergency Services,  said people doing the right thing have had a 'gutful' of those flouting the restrictions. 

'That's evident by the fact that we are now getting tens of thousands of people reporting breaches through Crime Stoppers,' he said. 

Under the new powers granted to the NSW Police Commissioner, businesses, construction sites and public premises can be shut down immediately if there is a risk to public health. 

Also the penalty for not wearing a mask where required more than doubles from $200 to $500.

Police talking to locals in Bankstown after a protest earlier this month  (pictured) 

NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliot (pictured) said the public has 'had a gutful' of Covid rule breakers 

Mr Elliott said police and the NSW government 'detest' the fact they've have been forced to increase the penalties and provide extra powers to officers, but had to act. 

'It is certainly not something that we want to do and it is, in fact, something that we cannot wait to shred,' he said. 

'But it's quite clear from the overwhelming number of people that are doing the right thing, that same overwhelming number of people have had a gutful of their fellow residents doing the wrong thing,' 

The new 'highly visible' policing operation will deploy 'thousands' of officers across Greater Sydney. 

In addition to the expanded police powers, lockdown restrictions will be tightened for residents of eight Sydney local government areas already dealing with tougher measures. 

From 12.01am on Friday residents in Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta will be subject to new exercise, mask and shopping rules. 

Exercise, outdoor recreation and singles bubble visits must be done within 5kms of a resident's home. 

Locals cannot travel more than 5kms from home for shopping, unless the goods or services are not readily available in that area. 

And masks must be worn whenever outside the home regardless of the proximity to others. 

This means locals in the eight LGAs can be immediately slapped with a $500 fine for being outside without a mask. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the delta variant and higher case numbers on Thursday, a new NSW record for the outbreak, demanded the tougher compliance measures. 

'We're noticing too much of a lack of compliance from businesses and from premises,' she added. 

'If we want to get out of this lockdown as soon as we can, question can't afford setbacks.

'Police will increase compliance and presence on top of what is already occurring and Commissioner fuller knows if he needs anything further, he can ask the government he will receive it.' 

Fines for not wearing a mask across in Sydney will double (Pictured: Police talking to a woman in Bondi) 

NSW has reported a record 239 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and at least 88 of those people were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period.

Two people - a southwest Sydney woman in her 90s and man in his 80s - have also sadly died. 

The government on Wednesday introduced new measures targeted at two million people in eight western Sydney local government areas where people cannot leave the area unless they are essential workers.

On Thursday, Ms Berejiklian said the government had accepted police advice the eight virus-hit LGAs would be subject to mask mandates at all times, including outdoors.

Residents of those areas will also be limited to moving within 5km of home. 

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