Two nude sunbathers who apparently fled from a wild animal have each been fined $760 for violating Sydney’s latest round of COVID-19 related lockdowns.
Officers in a police helicopter initially spotted the two men sunbathing on a beach in Royal National Park south of Sydney, New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced during a news briefing Monday (June 28) via CNN.
Fuller confirmed the two men were “startled” by a deer and ran through several areas.
“Unbelievably, we saw two men sunbaking naked on a beach on the South Coast. They were startled by a deer, ran into the national forest, national park, and got lost,” Fuller said. “Not only did they require assistance from SES (State Emergency Service) and police to rescue them, they also both received a ticket.”
Fuller mentioned the incident while discussing a larger status update regarding the local lockdowns in New South Wales. The restrictions were enacted amid a small outbreak of COVID-19 cases, which traced back to Sydney’s Bondi neighborhood in which residents were confirmed to have the Delta variant initially identified in India.
The Greater Sydney area — Australia’s biggest city — is currently under stay-at-home orders, as are the South Coast and Blue Mountains recreation spots.
“As the health minister said yesterday, it’s difficult to legislate against idiots,” Fuller said when asked to provide details on the two sunbathers. “But clearly putting people at risk by leaving home without a proper reason, and I think then not only on top of that, but then getting lost in the national park and diverting important resources away from the health operation, I think they should be embarrassed.”
“I can assure you, if you breach the health orders or the guidelines, you will be punished,” Fuller added.
Fuller confirmed local police had issued 44 fines in relation to lockdowns during the June 26-27 weekend, though most were in relation to a lack of mask wearing.
The Greater Sydney area will be under stay-at-home orders until at least July 9.