This Is One of the Weirder COVID Penalties Yet

In Australia, 2 naked sunbathers were spooked by a deer, then fined by police
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
This Is One of the Weirder COVID Penalties Yet
Mounted police patrol along Bondi Beach in Sydney, Monday, June 28, 2021. Australia was battling to contain several COVID-19 clusters around the country on Monday in what some experts have described as the nation's most dangerous stage of the pandemic since the earliest days.   (Joel Carrett/AAP Image via AP)

In the annals of COVID rule breaches, this one is tough to beat for weirdness. Police near Sydney, Australia, say two naked sunbathers on a beach were spooked by a deer and ran into the nearby bushland before calling for help, reports the BBC. Police rescued the men, then promptly fined them $750 for heading to the beach despite newly imposed lockdown orders. "It's difficult to legislate against idiots," says local police chief Mick Fuller. The goofy incident belies a serious problem—Australia is battling clusters of coronavirus cases in several cities, many of which are blamed on a limo driver in Sydney who tested positive for the particularly contagious delta variant, per the AP.

As CNN notes, Australia has one of the lowest per-capita death rates in the developed world in regard to COVID, and it has won praise for its early handling of the outbreak. However, only about 4% of the nation is fully vaccinated, which is why health officials worried about variants just imposed a two-week lockdown in Sydney, a city of 5 million people, and in other municipalities. The frustration among residents and business owners is seen in a popular Twitter image of a Sydney shop owner's sign: "Dear Customers, We will be closed for the foreseeable future because Scott Morrison is a useless d---head who only ordered enough vaccine to vaccinate 4% of the population 18 months into a pandemic." Morrison is the prime minister. And, no, the shop owner didn't use hyphens. (More Sydney stories.)

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