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How the streets, shopping malls and playgrounds of Australia could soon be sprayed with disinfectant by DRONES in a radical new plan to defeat coronavirus

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 3/04/2020 Louise Ayling For Daily Mail Australia

Drones are also being put forward as a 'quick, fast, efficient and safe' way to sanitise Australia's public places, and could even be used to enforce self-isolation directives © Provided by Daily Mail Drones are also being put forward as a 'quick, fast, efficient and safe' way to sanitise Australia's public places, and could even be used to enforce self-isolation directives An ambitious plan is being developed to try and keep public places across Australia open by disinfecting them with drones. 

Westpac Little Ripper is proposing to use drones with speakers to kick people out of public places and remind them of social distancing measures imposed around coronavirus.

Drones are also being put forward as a 'quick, fast, efficient and safe' way to sanitise Australia's public places, and could even be used to enforce self-isolation directives.

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around Australia

Little Ripper Group CEO Ben Trollope told Daily Mail Australia they're hopeful it could allow some states to retain some normalcy where others have already lost freedoms. 

'There's probably 100 people on the beach in front of me across the span of a couple of kilometres. We want to maintain that and not go to the extent that Sydney has gone to which is permanently close all beaches for the forseeable future,' he said.

'So if we can use drones with alert systems to remind people to maintain social distancing then I think we're a step ahead,' he said.

The company is hoping to convince the federal government to use its fleet of drones across a range of measures, including broadcasting systems and disinfectant measures.

Inspiration came from China who used 12,000 drones during the height of the pandemic outbreak to disinfect more than 600,000,000m² of public spaces.

a group of people standing in a parking lot: An ambitious plan is being developed to try and keep beaches across Queensland open and avoid draconian measures imposed in New South Wales © Provided by Daily Mail An ambitious plan is being developed to try and keep beaches across Queensland open and avoid draconian measures imposed in New South Wales a group of people walking on a beach: The initiative, by 'Westpac Little Ripper' is proposing to use drones with speakers to kick people out of public places and remind them of social distancing measures imposed around coronavirus © Provided by Daily Mail The initiative, by 'Westpac Little Ripper' is proposing to use drones with speakers to kick people out of public places and remind them of social distancing measures imposed around coronavirus

If approved, plans would involve using a formation of up to five drones at a time to spray a cleaning agent on public surfaces to neutralise the COVID-19 virus in places like public playgrounds, schools, universities, hospitals, aged care facilities and supermarkets.  

'There are a lot of countries that have found drones to be an effective and efficient way of disinfecting public areas and we're no different in Australia,' Mr Trollope said. 

'Drones are here to stay. We have seen them over the past four years grow in capabilities across our beach and coastline. We're certainly not here for surveillance. We are here to do a job,' he said.

'A lot of our bigger spray drones don't even have cameras on them they just have first person view cameras so we can actually see where we are and what we're doing and what we're close to,' he said. 

The company has all regulators on board, and they could be ready to launch within two to three weeks if they can secure support from the government from federal down to local. 

While plans appear to focus primarily around broadcasting capabilities and disinfecting, Little Ripper would consider expanding to surveillance measures to enforce self-isolation if it's something the government wants. 

'From my perspective drones give us the ability to keep our emergency service operators safe. They can talk to people from a distance- they don't need to be in their immediate vicinity,' Mr Trollope said. 

'A lot of people who are coming in from overseas are being directed to self isolate and they're not taking it as seriously as they should. I think if we have got the capability of ensuring social distancing and enforcing self isolation I think we should be doing that,' he said.

Drones are already being used to monitor and enforce social distancing regulations in Victoria and Western Australia.

While researchers at the University of South Australia are trying to create a 'pandemic drone' to detect coronavirus symptoms. 

a airplane that is flying in the sky: Westpac Little Ripper jokingly posted a photo on Facebook showing  a drone being used to deliver toilet paper © Provided by Daily Mail Westpac Little Ripper jokingly posted a photo on Facebook showing  a drone being used to deliver toilet paper

SOCIAL DISTANCING LAWS EXPLAINED STATE-BY-STATE: HOW TO AVOID GETTING CAUGHT OUT

Queensland

Gatherings are restricted to two people, with residents only allowed out of their homes for a few essential reasons. 

This includes buying food or essential goods, getting a medical treatment or engaging in physical exercise. 

You can also visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral.

Students are also allowed to attend childcare, school, college or university.

From April 3, the state's borders will be closed to everyone except residents and essential workers.

New South Wales

NSW officials are also enforcing the two-person limit, with residents legally obliged to stay at home unless they have a 'reasonable excuse'. 

This includes travelling to work or school, buying food or other essentials, exercise and medical reasons.

 

It is left up to police officers to decide who will get the fines, with the maximum being an $11,000 fine or six months in prison. 

Victoria 

The state has also brought in the two-person limit inside and outside the home - not counting pre-exisitng members of the household.

Its chief medical officer Dr Brett Sutton confirmed an exception would made for people visiting their boyfriend or girlfriend if they lived separately. 

 

Otherwise, people are allowed to leave the house for one of five reasons - shopping for food, work and education, care reasons, exercise or other extenuating circumstances.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT is also enforcing the two-person limit, but people are allowed up to two guests inside their homes - only if there is at least four square metres per person.   

It also only allows people to leave home for essential reasons, including shopping for essentials, medical reasons, exercise, work or study.

Offenders are being issue with warnings, but may get a fine if they are found to be breaking the rules again.

Western Australia 

As well as closing its borders to non-residents, WA has also introduced fines for people who cross out of their region.

Nine regions have been carved up, and people cannot move between them for anything but an essential reason.

This includes going to work, medical appointments, school or other types of education.

Drivers are also allowed to transport freight, and people can go to a shop outside of their area if the essentials are not available closer to home.  

Northern Territory 

In NT, police are still enforcing a 10-person limit rather than just two people.

But chief minister Michael Gunner warned it may take further action if people don't stick to the rules.

All non-essential arrivals in the state must self-quarantine for 14 days, and people are not allowed to visit remote communities.

Tasmania

Tasmania also has brought into law the two-person limit, with residents only allowed to leave home for essential reasons.

This includes shopping, exercising, and going to healthcare apppointments. 

Going to a vet is also allowed, as is going to school or caring for another person.  

Arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. 

South Australia

SA has also stuck to the 10-person limit, with $1,000 on-the-spot fines for people who have a larger group.

Again, all arrivals into the state must self-isolate for 14 days.  


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