Comply with the current COVID rules or cop a hefty fine - possibly jail.
That's the warning from Maitland Police Chief Inspector Tony Townsend who this week said officers have been directed to focus on enforcement as opposed to education.
And it appears Maitland Police have the community's support. Some residents caught breaching restrictions have been dobbed in and Insp Townsend said police have responded.
"We urge everyone to take this seriously. The directive across the entire police porce, including Maitland, is to focus on enforcement as opposed to education," he said.
"While police always have discretion, people blatantly disregarding the requirements will be issued fines. Police are focussing on compliance with the requirements including wearing masks, social distancing, and checking people visiting our region are not from a restricted area."
Penalties for individuals are on the spot fines including: $200 for not wearing a mask, $1000 for other offences, another $5500 for each other day the orders are not followed and if matters go before a court a fine of $11,000 or six months imprisonment can be imposed.
"We're receiving numerous calls in relation to breaches and responding accordingly. We will take action if anyone is blatantly breaching the requirements," Insp Townsend said.
He said no fines have yet been issued. "We have found the vast majority in the area have adopted a responsible attitude which is pleasing. Compliance is linked to public safety and the health of our community including our families.
"It will also will help ensure businesses can remain open and the community can continue to earn an income. The devastating impact this virus can have, if it gets into a community, is self evident," he said.
Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna, said the public must not be complacent during this time. "For the minority of the public who choose to disregard this advice within the Northern Region, police will be there to hold you accountable; be it on the road, at public venues or events," he said.
The following restrictions now apply to regional areas and remain in place until midnight on Friday, July 9:
. Visitors to households will be limited to five guests - including children;
. Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
. Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
. Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship is not allowed;
. Dancing is not allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs;
. Dancing will be allowed at weddings, but only for the wedding party (no more than 20 people);
. Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
. The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings;
. Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;
Anyone with information regarding individuals or businesses contravening COVID-19-related directions should contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.