Brad Hazzard vows to close anti-mask loophole seized upon by anti-vaxxers

Must Read

A anti-vaxxer loophole which prevented police from obtaining a valid medical evidence when asking why a person was not wearing a mask will soon be closed.

The gap in legislation meant police on the beat, businesses and shop owners were rendered useless against conspiracy theorists who claimed they did not need a mask due to a medical exemption.

The groups posted explainers online about how to get around the poorly worded rules that meant no evidence was needed if a person claimed to have a medical exemption.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it would now be amended.

“I have worked with health and instructed our lawyers to prepare an amendment to the orders which I was hoping to have sign by 11:00, but didn‘t get done because there was so much happening this morning,” he said.

“That is to say that from here on in … if you don‘t wear a mask for what you say is a medical reason, you will be required to have on your body, in your possession a letter or other evidence from a registered medical practitioner explaining that that is a true situation.”

The previous legislation meant that no evidence needed to be provided when claiming you have an exemption from wearing a mask.

This wording was seized upon by anti-vax groups who have posted how-to guides and explainers on getting away without wearing a mask.

The controversial groups were vocal on social media, filming interactions with police where they claim police have no authority over their mask-wearing habits.

Anti-vaxxer Taylor Winterstein jumped on board the movement and regularly promotes no-mask wearing habits.

Earlier this year, she took to her 68,000 Instagram followers telling them: “The idea that healthy people are endangering others simply by breathing, is the biggest scam in the world.”

She regularly posts information about the legality of mask wearing on social media too.

Police walking the beat are the ones suffering from the gap in legislation. With explosive arguments regularly filmed and posted on social media.

On the NSW Health website, it said penalty infringement notices will only be issued if people refuse to wear a mask without a lawful reason.

“If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you may wish to ask your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming this,” it said.

“However, this is not a requirement under the public health order.” asked NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s office why it was not a requirement to show medical proof for an exemption at the start of July.

They deferred the questions to a NSW Health spokeswoman who said officers are “focused on compliance” rather than enforcement.

“If someone has a medical condition which prevents them wearing a mask, having documentary evidence available, such as a letter from a registered health practitioner or a disability care provider, will assist in confirming the person is complying with the Order,” she said.

Mr Hazzard has the power to amend the Public Health Order and the latest version of it was published on June 28.

During a recent incident, a woman on a NSW train argued with police that she did not need to wear a mask as she had an exemption.

“You’re on public transport you’re supposed to be wearing a mask,” the police officer said in the video filmed by the woman.

“I have an exemption, I don’t need a mask. I don’t need to show you my exception,” she replied.

In another firey encounter NSW police wrestled with a man and woman after they refused to wear masks at an organic food shop.

The duo work at the Organic Food Store in Bowral and have been quite vocal on social media about their views against mask-wearing and vaccines.

A sign out the front of the store reads: “To protect our customers and each other, if you have had any vaccine in the last 10-14 days, please do not enter.

“For hygiene reasons, no masks in store.”

The pair were both issued with PIN for breaching the Public Health Order.

NSW Police and the Police Association of NSW both deferred questions about the gap in legislation to NSW Health.

However, a former high-ranking NSW police officer told he felt for the current crop of young officers walking the beat.

“It must be bloody tough for them. During a time like this and they’re having to put up with so much grief – then they don’t even have the tools to properly police,” the man who asked to remain anonymous said.

“I’m bewildered that the union is not getting behind the union on this one. It seems like something they should be doing, helping the officers where they need it.”

Source link

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Nineteen cargo ship crew members infected off Queensland

Nineteen crew members onboard a cargo ship off Queensland are infected with Covid-19 as the state’s top doctor...

More Articles Like This