A 21-year-old man could face six months in jail after allegedly coughing on a woman while she was out walking in Alexandra.
The incident is alleged to have taken place on the Alexandra Bridge last Thursday, April 23.
Police located the man after enquiries, and he has since been charged with Obstruction of a Medical Officer. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a $4000 fine or six months in prison.
The man is scheduled to appear at Queenstown District Court on Wednesday.
Police say that while they recognise that the coronavirus alert level 4 lockdown has been a challenging time for many New Zealanders, this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
"We want everyone to stay safe, but if a small number of people persist in deliberately flouting the restrictions, police will have the discretion to warn, or if necessary, to arrest," a spokesperson said in a statement.
"We are asking people to stay local, apply common sense and be kind to one another."
This alleged incident follows many other coughing or spitting incidents around the country since the coronavirus outbreak arrived on our shores.
Eight police officers and a Defence Force staffer have all had to enter mandatory self-isolation after being spat on, along with frontline health workers and members of the public.
Such offences are dangerous because COVID-19 is transmitted most effectively by droplets, like those found in saliva.