A Sydney man who caused a weeklong lockdown in a coastal Australian town is being charged with breaching public health orders.
The man, whom the local news media identified as Zoran Radovanovic, spent over a week in the town, Byron Bay, before testing positive for the virus on Monday. The town and surrounding areas imposed the lockdown amid concerns that an outbreak could devastate the region, where many people are unvaccinated.
Mr. Radovanovic “didn’t believe in the virus,” Mayor Michael Lyon of Byron Shire, which includes Byron Bay, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday.
The mayor said that Mr. Radovanovic had not been wearing a mask or socially distancing and was not cooperating with authorities.
Residents in eastern Sydney are not allowed to travel more than about six miles from their homes as part of pandemic restrictions.
On Wednesday morning Gary Worboys, the deputy police commissioner of New South Wales, the state that includes Byron Bay, told reporters that the authorities were examining whether the man had genuinely been looking at real estate during the trip as he had claimed. Travel for inspecting properties is exempt from the restrictions.
Mr. Radovanovic is being treated for the virus in a hospital in the nearby town of Lismore. The police said they intended to pursue strict bail conditions.