Can I go to Bunnings, who will collect my mail and how do I wash my car? The bizarre coronavirus calls to police stations are revealed – despite there being ‘no dumb questions’
- Police officer reveals questions station has been asked during COVID-19 crisis
- Sergeant Gavin Buchan said confused callers have been ringing in about rules
- Some have asked about dinner parties, collecting their mail and going fishing
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A police officer has revealed the bizarre questions his station has been asked during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sergeant Gavin Buchan, from Cranbourne Police Station in Melbourne, said confused callers have been ringing in to clarify the rules around the COVID-19 restrictions.
‘People are ringing up and asking why they can’t go fishing, they ask ”why can one state do it and not the other?”’ he told The Herald Sun.
‘One person even called asking if they could go to Bunnings to have a day out of the house.’
A police officer has revealed the bizarre questions his station has been asked during the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: Police patrol Cottesloe Beach in Perth
Sgt Buchan said some callers asked if they could invite guests over for dinner, while others questioned if they could view a house for sale, walk in the park or go to the shops.
Other callers rang in to ‘dob on’ others who have flouted the social distancing rules, he added.
The number of phone calls in March were normal but there was an increase in questions about COVID-19.
There had been a decrease in calls about the roads and car accidents as there were less vehicles travelling due to the virus.
When officers are unable to help with the request, they redirect the callers to the coronavirus hotline.
One caller asked if they could go to Bunnings to have a day out of the house, Sergeant Gavin Buchan said. Pictured: A Bunnings store in Sydney
Julian Hill, the Labor member for Bruce, said they also experienced a spike in calls in the first few weeks of the crisis after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conferences.
‘The elderly said they were particularly worried that the prime minister just told them they weren’t allowed to leave the house and they were not sure how they could get the mail from the letterbox,’ he said.
Another man was worried he wouldn’t be able to wash his car because of Mr Morrison’s advice to stay at home.
Mr Hill wanted to highlight there was no such thing as a ‘dumb question’ and they will continue to do their best to answer their request and offer reassurance.
Sgt Buchan said people have questioned the rules around fishing and why coronavirus restrictions are different in each state. Pictured: Men are seen fishing on Bare Island in Sydney on April 16
SOCIAL DISTANCING LAWS EXPLAINED STATE-BY-STATE: HOW TO AVOID GETTING CAUGHT OUT
Gatherings are restricted to two people, with residents only allowed out of their homes for a few essential reasons.
This includes buying food or essential goods, getting a medical treatment or engaging in physical exercise.
You can also visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral.
Students are also allowed to attend childcare, school, college or university.
From April 3, the state’s borders will be closed to everyone except residents and essential workers.
New South Wales
NSW officials are also enforcing the two-person limit, with residents legally obliged to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
This includes travelling to work or school, buying food or other essentials, exercise and medical reasons.
It is left up to police officers to decide who will get the fines, with the maximum being an $11,000 fine or six months in prison.
The state has also brought in the two-person limit inside and outside the home – not counting pre-exisitng members of the household.
Its chief medical officer Dr Brett Sutton confirmed an exception would made for people visiting their boyfriend or girlfriend if they lived separately.
Otherwise, people are allowed to leave the house for one of five reasons – shopping for food, work and education, care reasons, exercise or other extenuating circumstances.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT is also enforcing the two-person limit, but people are allowed up to two guests inside their homes – only if there is at least four square metres per person.
It also only allows people to leave home for essential reasons, including shopping for essentials, medical reasons, exercise, work or study.
Offenders are being issue with warnings, but may get a fine if they are found to be breaking the rules again.
As well as closing its borders to non-residents, WA has also introduced fines for people who cross out of their region.
Nine regions have been carved up, and people cannot move between them for anything but an essential reason.
This includes going to work, medical appointments, school or other types of education.
Drivers are also allowed to transport freight, and people can go to a shop outside of their area if the essentials are not available closer to home.
In NT, police are still enforcing a 10-person limit rather than just two people.
But chief minister Michael Gunner warned it may take further action if people don’t stick to the rules.
All non-essential arrivals in the state must self-quarantine for 14 days, and people are not allowed to visit remote communities.
Tasmania also has brought into law the two-person limit, with residents only allowed to leave home for essential reasons.
This includes shopping, exercising, and going to healthcare apppointments.
Going to a vet is also allowed, as is going to school or caring for another person.
Arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.
SA has also stuck to the 10-person limit, with $1,000 on-the-spot fines for people who have a larger group.
Again, all arrivals into the state must self-isolate for 14 days.