Tree loppers fined thousands for breaching NSW COVID-19 restrictions

One of six tree loppers who were fined after allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales has tested positive for coronavirus.

NSW Police said officers attended a holiday rental property at Yanko Street in Toronto on July 20 after receiving reports that a group of men had travelled to the area from Western Sydney for tree lopping work.

The six men – aged between 17 and 59 – told police they had been in the Lake Macquarie area before stay-at-home orders had been put in place in Greater Sydney and did not intend to return until after restrictions lifted.

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Arborist tree surgeon (file)

A month later, police went to an apartment complex in Charlestown on August 31 after being alerted by NSW Health that a 59-year-old man had been taken to John Hunter Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.

While a 23-year-old man had left to get tested for coronavirus.

The 59-year-old later tested positive to COVID-19 and all other men had left the Charlestown apartment before police arrived.

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Five men have now been slapped with seven $1000 fines for failing to comply with public health orders.

An 18-year-old man was also issued with a $200 fine for failing to wear a fitted face mask indoors during an unrelated incident at a shopping centre on July 29.

Police enquiries remain ongoing, anyone who wishes to report an alleged breach of the Public Health Orders is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

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