Fines for failing to report positive RAT results: unhelpful and will not work
13th Jan 2022
Fining people for failing to report a positive COVID-19 test result is an unhelpful and an unnecessarily punitive approach to managing a public health issue, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).
“Threatening to punish people with exorbitant fines for failing to report their results creates one more barrier for people who are already struggling to get tested, to understand the changing rules and manage their health,” says Mr Greg Barns SC, spokesperson for the ALA.
“The policing and enforcement of this health order will be almost impossible. This punitive response will not work and may be counter-productive.
“Being threatened with a $1000 fine is a disincentive to get tested, especially when accessing a rapid antigen test is already expensive and difficult.
“These fines will particularly hurt the most disadvantaged people in the community who are already struggling with losing their employment due to illness and having difficulty accessing and being able to afford rapid antigen tests.
“Instead of focusing on penalties for failing to report results, the government must focus on ensuring everyone has access to testing and providing support for people who are unwell or are in isolation.
“Adding more penalties and punishments is not a helpful response to the challenging health situation in NSW.”