Police crack down on COVID Safe check-ins in Murray Bridge

However, no local businesses or individuals have been fined under Operation Trace.

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It is unclear whether any Murray Bridge businesses or residents have been cautioned during a police crackdown on COVID Safe check-ins during the past week.

Rumours had run rife that local businesses had been fined during a police operation targeting non-compliance.

However, SA Police announced on Friday – the day after this story was initially published – that no businesses anywhere in the state had been fined.

Last week, police Commissioner Grant Stevens warned all South Australians to continue using QR codes and sign-in sheets in public places so their movements could be traced in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

“Now is not the time to stop using QR codes,” he said.

“As we start to see more large-scale community events, and with an increase in interstate and New Zealand travel, we need to remember the risk that COVID-19 poses to our community.

“South Australia has done very well so far, and although there is no current community transmission of COVID-19 in our state, we still need to be vigilant.”

Businesses which do not comply with COVID safe requirements may be fined up to $5060, while individuals can be fined up to $1060.

Operation Trace has involved plain-clothes police enforcing those requirements more strictly than before.

Murray Bridge News visited a number of local businesses this week to ask whether they had had any trouble complying.

Swanport Hotel manager Brad Mole said his venue had not had any issues with check-ins.

“(People) are doing it off their own backs,” he said.

“We had the police in here on Friday and we were all good.”

East side OTR manager Joshua Hissey said police had visited his business to make sure he and his staff were checking in, as well.

A spokeswoman for Coles said any suggestion the Murray Bridge supermarket had received a fine was “completely untrue”.

Mitre 10 COVID marshal Rina Page, who was wiping down her counter when Murray Bridge News visited, said she asked every customer to check in.

“You don’t want your customers to cop a big fine, and we don’t want to cop a big fine, so you’ve got to do the right thing,” she said.

A staff member at Murray Bridge Newsagency and Gifts said people were generally following the rules, and for good reason: “all these stories of police going around fining people probably help, don’t they?”

This story was updated after police reported on the results of Operation Trace on May 21, 2021.

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