It may intuitively seem that fining or punishing individuals or companies for non-compliance would increase compliance. But, counter-intuitively, this strategy often fails. Individuals are more likely to better hide their noncompliance if they face a fine or some other punishment.
So is the best strategy to create a bit of a fuss but then not do anything much in the way of punishment? Or is the best strategy to offer rewards. Or rewards for whistleblowers?
Maybe the best strategy would be to punish dishonesty when asked about compliance and hiding noncompliance once asked about compliance by an authority.
That way individuals and companies would be encouraged to improve compliance, not because noncompliance is punishable, but because, once questioned, hiding or being dishonest about noncompliance will be punishable. It would also mean that an individual questioned about their movements, contacts or compliance would benefit from being truthful, which would be a great help to authorities and contact tracers.
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Dr Michael Cole FRACP LLB