Questions over what proof is needed to show you have a reasonable excuse to leave home are flowing in after harsher restrictions were introduced on Monday.
Police stations, politicians' offices and the national Coronavirus hotline have been inundated with questions about various scenarios after the NSW Government put rules in place that prevent anybody travelling more than 5 kilometres from their home into another Local Government Area (LGA) unless they have a reasonable excuse.
Shopping, outdoor exercise and recreation have been deemed unreasonable excuses to travel more than 5km into a neighbouring LGA.
Right now there is no formal evidence required for anyone leaving their LGA for a reasonable excuse like a medical appointment, to check on livestock on agistment or at the person's farm, or to obtain goods and services that are not available in the person's LGA.
The Mercury understands a government-issued permit system is in the works which will help to simplify this scenario, but until then it is up to the discretion of the police officer.
Officer in charge of Nowra Police Station, Inspector Ray Stynes encouraged people to call crime stoppers about suspected breaches of Public Health Orders on 1800 333 000.
He reminded residents that public health order answers are available on the NSW government website.
Port Stephens-Hunter Inspector Dan Skelly said if a person was stopped by police and gave a reasonable excuse for leaving their LGA it was up to the police officer to make further inquiries if they felt the person was lying.
"There is no prescribed proof needed to prove the reason that you have actually left home, it is up to the police officer to make further inquiries if he or she believes that is necessary," he said.
"The police officer who pulls the person over has to make a decision about whether they need to make further inquiries about the reason that is given to them at the time.
"The person only has to state what their legitimate reason is for leaving home and if for some reason the police officer doesn't believe them it is up to the police officer to make further inquiries which may be done at that time or at a later stage, depending on the circumstances."
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