A new offence carrying a fine of $4957 will be introduced in Victoria to deter people from leaving metro Melbourne and travelling into regional parts of the state.
Failing to comply with a requirement to remain in a restricted area will be a new offence set to come into force in Victoria overnight.
« That is quite a significant fine and clearly aimed to deter people from the Melbourne metro area [travelling to regional areas], » Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said on Wednesday.
From 11.59pm on Wednesday, regional Victoria will move to step three in the government’s road map.
Mr Nugent said if it multiple people are caught leaving metro Melbourne together they would all be fined the full amount and told to go home.
Police will be increasing their patrols of checkpoints, particularly during the school holidays, to catch anyone from metro Melbourne trying to holiday in the regions.
There will also be increased patrols of caravan parks and boat ramps and police will be checking all cars towing caravans or boats.
« We absolutely have a role in this to ensure those deliberately, blatantly breaching restrictions are caught and appropriately fined, » said Mr Nugent.
« It might assist with your business … but you’re putting people at risk. We have gone through a lot in Victoria with the pandemic, let’s get through the other side. Let’s maintain for that bit longer. »
Given Mornington Peninsula is considered within the metro Melbourne boundary, people caught travelling down to their beach houses from the city will receive the $1652 fine for breaching the five-kilometre radius restriction.
The larger $4957 fine is for those trying to leave the « ring of steel » which surrounds metro Melbourne.
People travelling from one regional destination to another are able to travel through Melbourne if they need to.
The Department of Health and Human Services says travellers should be aware that stricter restrictions apply in the metropolitan area – they should not make unnecessary stops and ensure their activities are safe and appropriate.
Simone is a crime reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age, and before that for The Australian in Melbourne.
Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.
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