Anyone who coughs or spits on any sort of worker from today will cop a $5000 on-the-spot fine in a bid to protect everyone in the workplace or those travelling to and from work.

From today, NSW Police will have the power to hand out the large fine if anyone is caught breaking the rule.

The fine for coughing or spitting was already in place but previously only applied to anyone who attacked healthcare and frontline workers such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, police and pharmacists.

Making the fine applicable to anyone who attacks any sort of worker in this manner comes after the NSW Health Minister Brad Hazard requested the extension, following numerous “vile” and “pathetic” attacks on workers around the state.

“COVID-19 is every bit as dangerous as a weapon, so anybody who thinks it’s funny to spit or cough on somebody are without doubt pathetic grubs,” Mr Hazzard said according to News.com.au.

“Unfortunately, there have now also been incidents in which retail staff and transport staff have also been subjected to this disgusting dangerous behaviour, and it will not be tolerated.”

Many instances of coughing or spitting on employees has taken place at supermarkets, with Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association NSW secretary Bernie Smith saying that the new fine shows that the community has zero tolerance for the “vile attacks”

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Mr Hazzard also said that the fines would be distributed using “sensible policing” so that no vulnerable members or the community or those with mental health issues would be disadvantaged.

There are also safeguards in place if needed to have cases reviewed.