Two men were punished for violating coronavirus regulations after being frightened by a deer while sunbathing naked on a beach south of Sydney and running into the forest, where they became lost and had to be rescued.
A helicopter was dispatched to look for the couple, who was fined $1,000 for violating public health regulations during a coronavirus epidemic that has seen residents in greater Sydney quarantined and prohibited from leaving their neighborhoods.
It's unknown what frightened the guys or what prompted them to flee into the woods.
Chased by a Deer
Authorities discovered a 30-year-old guy on a walking trail near Lady Wakehurst Drive in the Royal National Park, 40 kilometers south of Sydney's city center, nude and carrying a bag.
According to a statement from NSW police, they could also locate a 49-year-old male who was "partially clothed" after a second search.
The males told authorities they were on a nearby beach when they were frightened by a deer and rushed into bushland.
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Arrested and Fined
The guys were arrested and fined at St George police station for violating public health restrictions prohibiting residents of greater Sydney from leaving the city.
Many on Twitter were diverted by the news since they had tuned in to Monday morning's NSW press conference expecting an update on the state's Covid-19 outbreak.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller spoke about the sunbathers at a news conference, stating it was "tough to legislate against idiots."
Breaking Lockdown Protocols
"Clearly putting people in danger by leaving home without a valid cause, and then getting lost in the national park and taking critical resources away from the health operation, I believe they should be embarrassed," Fuller said.
"However, they were each fined $1,000 this time. Although just a tiny number of New South Wales residents do not follow the health rules, I can guarantee you that if you violate the health directives or recommendations, you will be punished."
On Sunday, police issued 44 penalties for violating public health regulations, four of which were for failing to wear a fitting facial covering, according to police.
"Over the weekend, police received hundreds of complaints from the public reporting potential public health order violations, and we would like to thank the great majority of the community for cooperating with the new rules."
The alerts followed a lockdown of greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, and Wollongong on Saturday when officials battled an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta form of Covid-19.
Residents are only allowed to leave their houses for essential reasons, such as shopping for food and groceries, working or attending school if it is hard to do so at home, medical reasons, outdoor exercise, and "outdoor entertainment."
When questioned if sunbathing naked on a distant beach qualified as outdoor leisure, Fuller was interrupted by a guy who issued him a "notice of cease and desist" and claimed to be the "primary creator of this Earth."
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