People breaching isolation orders will be slapped with a $5000 fine, after more than 800 people – supposed to be self-isolating – were not at home during random door knocks.
From Tuesday 4 August, people found to be breaching the Chief Health Officer directives – by failing to isolate after returning a positive Covid test or being identified as a close contact – will be hit with a $4957 fine.
The hefty fine is the highest on the spot infringement that can be issued to a person by Victoria Police, but has been deemed necessary after 3000 random door knocks found 800 people out and about.
Under new Stage 4 restrictions, people with coronavirus and those who are deemed close contacts, will no longer be able to leave their homes for exercise.
“You can get fresh air at your front door, or in the front yard or back,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“I apologise to those doing the right thing but we have absolutely no choice. It’s about making sure people are where they’re supposed to be.”
A limited number of reasons to leave the home will remain – including seeking medical care, in an emergency, or if required by law.
More than 500 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and 300 authorised officers will join door knocking teams to randomly check on households across the state.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said every police officer had a responsibility to enforce coronavirus related directions.
“The message for the community is clear: the window of discretion is virtually closed. We want you to stay at home and comply with the Chief Health Officer directions,” he said.
“There will be a significant police presence across the state either patrolling on the street, at permanent check points or in mobile vehicles to enforce the directions throughout the day and into the night.
“If you don’t abide by these guidelines, we will issue fines, arrest and detain you.”
More than 6000 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services have been undertaken in the past 24 hours to Tuesday 4 August. More than 505,000 vehicles have been checked at vehicle checkpoints since 9 July.
To report non-urgent crime and events, as well as breaches of the Chief Health Officer’s directives, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or submit an online report at police.vic.gov.au/palolr.