Victorians who breach social distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus will face on-the-spot fines.
Stay at home, don’t go to the beach. Police will be patrolling and can arrest if you are breaching rules. City of Port Phillip has closed its beaches today like St Kilda. #covid19vic pic.twitter.com/YdaYDc7EYF
— Karen Percy (@PercyKaren) March 27, 2020
“Giving police these powers is important as it sends a strong message. Follow the rules, to the right thing, keep your distance, stay at home,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“That is the key message. If you are flouting those rules you will be punished.”
Police Minister Lisa Neville said individuals would face fines of more than $1,600 for gathering in groups and businesses would cop penalties of almost $10,000.
Ms Neville said the fines would apply where people were flouting a directive from the Chief Health Officer “such as mass gatherings, 14-days of self-quarantine, weddings and funerals”.
The limit on weddings is five people and funerals are capped at 10 people.
People would not be fined for standing less than 1.5 metres apart.
The move comes after photos yesterday afternoon showed large crowds at Melbourne’s popular St Kilda Beach.
Victoria has announced another 111 COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 685.
More to come.