A Sydney beauty therapist has been identified as the woman fined twice for refusing to self-isolate despite being a close contact of someone infected with coronavirus.
Jess Barca, 27, a beautician from Cronulla, was busted by police swimming in a Byron Bay resort pool after she was ordered to get tested for the deadly virus.
NSW Police have slammed the rule beach as an act that has ‘endangered public safety’.
Jess Barca, 27, a beautician from Cronulla, was busted by police twice for not isolating herself after coming into close contact with a coronavirus case
The woman was hit with two $1000 fines for breaching self-isolation orders on Friday and Sunday.
Ms Barca was in Byron Bay on New Year’s Eve when she was told she was a close contact of a coronavirus case – and must isolate and get tested herself.
On New Year’s Day, police returned and fined her $1,000 when they found she wasn’t isolating.
Police said Ms Barca had put the public in ‘significant danger’. She said she ‘tested negative’
The Imperial Paradiso in Fairfield, Sydney (pictured) packed up to 700 wedding guests in when they were limited to 350. Police raided and told the organiser to send hundreds home
The next day, on January 2, police returned again only to find Ms Barca swimming in the resort pool and fined her a second time.
NSW Police Acting Commissioner Mal Lanyon said Ms Barca had put the public in ‘significant danger’.
When Ms Barca was asked by Seven News if she felt she had endangered the public. she said: ‘No, I’m a double negative result.’
HOW TO CHECK IF YOU NEED A TEST
There are 63 separate health alerts for NSW venues on the NSW Health website and 17 for public transport routes as of Monday night.
The public is urged to check the NSW Health website here to see if you were at any of those places at the red-flagged dates and times.
If you were there at the times flagged, you may have come in contact with the virus and may need to isolate and get tested.
Many people infected with coronavirus may initially test negative only to test positive after two weeks – which is why quarantine is set at 14 days.
Sydney residents are still allowed to travel to Byron Bay despite the recent outbreaks on the Northern Beaches and western suburbs.
The woman’s brazen breach comes after a venue operator of a wedding reception centre in Sydney’s southwest was fined $5,000 for hosting a 700-person wedding reception.
The breach at the Imperial Paradiso in Fairfield has left politicians and police outraged, as it is only 10km from the Berala coronavirus hotspot.
The venue opened its doors to double the permitted crowd in a wedding reception on Saturday night with up to 700 people inside, well over its 350-person limit.
Police arrived at 9.30pm and told the organiser to kick hundreds of wedding guests out.
The guests are yet to be penalised but the venue operator, 46-year-old Khiri Gorgees, has been fined $5000 for breaching public health orders.
Mr Gorgees is a shareholder of the seven-venue Paradiso Receptions business.
Acting Premier John Barilaro was furious about the breach and said Mr Gorgees had put his business and reputation at risk along with the entire NSW state economy and jobs.
‘When you have a deliberate act like the venue operators … in this case we’ve got an example of somebody who’s done bloody wrong,’ Mr Barilaro told reporters on Monday.
On Monday NSW recorded no new local coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.
NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro (pictured) was furious with Khiri Gorgees, 46, operator of the Imperial Paradiso venue in Fairfield, who broke covid rules to pack in 700 wedding guests
A Covid-19 cluster in Berala has been caused by a patient transfer worker who took a family of returned overseas travellers to a health facility – prompting states to shut their borders
Two new cases were recorded after the reporting period, however, in Sydney’s western suburbs bringing the NSW total to 188 active locally acquired cases.
NSW began enforcing compulsory mask-wearing regulations for Greater Sydney on Monday with those caught without a facemask in designated public areas risking a $200 fine.
Mr Barilaro said that wearing masks was an alternative to strict lockdowns, by inhibiting the spread of the virus people could be kept mobile and businesses open.
There were seven cases in NSW hotel quarantine and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant warned more infected people are entering Australia as the virus spreads rapidly in Europe and the US.
On Saturday evening, NSW Health ramped up its alert for the Berala bottle shop, with many of its customers of the Christmas holiday period now considered to be close contacts
However NSW Health is most concerned about the BWS Berala outbreak which began after a Covid-19 patient transport worker unknowingly visited the store while infectious before Christmas.
Tens of thousands of people have been asked to isolate after more than 1,000 people attended the Berala bottle shop on Christmas Eve alone – with more who visited a nearby Woolworths now also on alert.
The infection was first passed from a family of returned travellers with the virus to a patient transport worker.
This worker then passed it to a colleague, who attended the BWS at Berala who did not know they had been exposed and had no symptoms.
Despite only attending the BWS for a short amount of time on 20 December, a BWS worker caught the virus without knowing and served thousands of customers.
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES:
- Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan.
- Victoria – A hard border has been put up, with the entire state of NSW declared a red zone. If people cross into Victoria before 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve, they must self- isolate until they test negative. If they enter before 11.59pm on New Year’s Day, they must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of test results. If they cross into the state after January 1, they must spend two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine.
- Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
- South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
- Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate.
- ACT – Anyone travelling to the ACT from a Covid-19 hotspot in NSW will now require an exemption. People from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be legally permitted to enter the ACT without a valid pass from midday on Saturday January 2.
- Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.