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Will pandemic travel bans ever end?

Travel bans Will pandemic travel bans ever end?

At what time should police and authorities judiciously reconsider the hastily-drafted travel bans that have promoted a police state and are heightening the public’s anxiety and depression?

The current Draconian laws across each state have apparent sunset classes, but can be extended, as we have already seen overseas.

However, as “the infection curve” is now flattening in Australia, should people be allowed to exercise their liberty, use their commonsense and pursue harmless, non-contact hobbies and sports that can be practised in ones and twos?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Source: Our World In Data)

They could include, but not be limited to, golfing, fishing, boating, hiking, surfing and, of course, motorcycling, so long as they are also practising good hygiene and personal distancing.

After all, why should the long-term mental fitness of all be jeopardised by criminal laws directed at the inconsiderate behaviour of a minority?

All laws and rules have updates, modifications and amendments, so why not these hastily drafted travel restrictions?

How about a gradual easing of restrictions, to stem this jackboot culture where police harass and fine citizens without warning for sitting on park benches, mums teaching their kids to drive (fine later rescinded) or riders go for a solo ride through the hills?

How about giving us the benefit of having some commonsense like they do in Sweden? Rather than the government telling people what to do or fining them, they are asking Swedes to do the right thing, and giving them the liberty to prove they are responsible citizens.

Unfortunately, appealing to the Swedes’ sense of doing the right thing hasn’t worked and the government is now planning tighter measures.

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Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway are opening up from lockdown as cases have greatly dropped. It will be interesting to see how their infection curve develops.

Sunset clause on travel bans

Travel bans Will pandemic travel bans ever end?
MBW asks a police officer about the travel restrictions

The various travel bans around the country seem to have “sunset clauses”.

In NSW, the Police Commissioner says the bans will be in place “at least until the end of June”. But he didn’t rule out a continuation of the bans at that time.

(By the way, how did the police suddenly get legislative powers to make and amend laws?)

Queensland’s home confinement direction is in place “until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless they are revoked or replaced”.

So there really is no guaranteed sunset clause written into the laws.

When do the laws end and what is the mechanism for winding them back?

Obviously the sooner we respond to staying home and getting the infection curve flattened, the sooner we may quash this Orwellian Big Brother state.

Orwellian state

Or could we end up with a long-term or permanent erosion of our civil liberties as we witnessed with the introduction of Draconian anti-terrorism laws after 9/11?

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 still exists and has been the source of much government abuse and overreaching.

The 300-page Act sailed through US Congress seven weeks after the attacks with scant dissent; just like our hastily drawn-up pandemic restrictions.

Already these rules have resulted in police harassing innocent Australians doing such “criminal” behaviour as sunbathing in a park a healthy distance from other people.

We can imagine the police will do their utmost to hold on to as many of their new-found powers for as long as possible.

We have already seen that with the updated so-called anti-bikie rules that replaced Queensland also hastily-drafted VLAD laws.

When it comes time to revoke or revise these restrictions, police will no doubt cite the inevitable reduction in the crime rate and road toll as reasons to continue at least some of their new powers.

  1. Thank you Mark for highlighting what police are doing and the abuse of power that they’re exercising

  2. Surprised at you.

    “Look at Sweden” Yes, look at Sweden, look a bit closer and consider how inconsequential Australia’s death rate is compared to Northern Europe.
    Sweden’s policy has, so far, resulted in a death rate that is higher than all its neighbours combined.

    There are a lot of bikers here in England who are quite happy to toe the line as the death rate heads tops 6000.

    1. For only a time.

      The bottom line is, the fate of the entire economy and the health and welfare of people who aren’t related to me are worth 4 weeks isolation and that’s it. As a country we will be utterly finished by the end of this, if we rely on medical experts to let us know when the isolation measures should be lifted. Quality of life if we aren’t allowed to move around on bikes and in cars is a real concern. The NHS will start looking like more than a burden than a boon, in a couple of weeks.

      Personally. I allowed 4 weeks at the start of the lockdown as a personal limit before I start breaking the law. Purely for the sake of the NHS and to flatten the peak. However, I’m aware that many people don’t understand that THEIR benefit and that of their offspring doesn’t matter enough to me for me to terminate my entire quality of life. I’m here to ride.

  3. Lets stick to Motorcycles, Not 911 or what US Congress is doing…Orwellian State ..Koko, Abuse of Power ? I came from a country where Internment without Charge was the norm !… With CoVid ,Life has changed and Governments are trying to stop the Virus. Have they got it right ? Have they not done enough ? Time will tell ! Back to bikes, I ride mine to work every day…Let stick with the passion we have for bikes and forget about Political Undertones we want to express.

  4. “However, as “the infection curve” is now flattening in Australia, should people be allowed to exercise their liberty, use their commonsense and pursue harmless, non-contact hobbies and sports that can be practised in ones and twos?”

    I’m sure that if they lifted some of the restrictions, everyone would do the right thing and the curve would continue to flatten. Not. The first sign of restrictions being lifted, some might do the right thing, but I suspect many wouldn’t, and the end result will be more people die, and we end up getting more restrictions for a longer period of time.

    This virus is serious shit and we just need to hunker down and cop it. I miss my rides heaps, but the positive side is by not going out, I get more shed time and I’m spending less money doing the normal stuff, so more $ to spend on parts, tools and bike bits.

    I get the VLAD laws, and I don’t like the attitude behind them, nor the enforcement of them, but the more people who get around like nothings happened, the more people will get it and the more will die. Loading corpses onto trucks with forklifts in NY should make us realise that this isn’t just another flu, and the measures taken here so far may have avoided similar things happening here. And I also suspect that many of us riders are at the higher end of the risk scale, so for the greater good of some of the more elderly and at risk, I’m happy that they keep things going until death rates come right down, and there are a lot less new cases being diagnosed, particularly as we are now about to concentrate more on testing for localised transmission.

  5. I think personally that Australia is doing a good job under the extreme circumstances , at this stage we have 50 deaths , thats 2 deaths per million . Sweden has circa 10.23 million people and 477 deaths ….thats 46/47 per million !!! more than 23 times the rate of Australia . Whatever the Police imply they have no power to write or pass laws , be guided by the actual legislation not by what individual Politicians , public servants or Police say .

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