3 people have been arrested in outback Australia after fleeing NSW in a private plane.

The group had left on a small plane for the Northern Territory, but were not given permission to land.

They flew south to Coober Pedy in outback South Australia.

Later that night, they were arrested by police in a karaoke bar, a few minutes after midnight.

The two woman and one man were taken into custody after being tracked down by local South Australian police. The group had flown from the town of Griffith, in southern NSW. No cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the region at this time.

Despite their origin being well away from Sydney, a police statement said a 39-year-old woman, a 21-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man — broke the law both times they crossed the border: from NSW and from the NT.

Local authorities said the trio had placed local “vulnerable outback communities” at risk of coronavirus.