Melbourne’s “ring of steel” is tightening with city residents now facing fines of nearly $5,000 for attempting to escape to regional Victoria.
Victorian authorities have introduced a new offence under the state of disaster rules, prohibiting people “leaving a restricted area”, aimed at preserving low case numbers in rural towns as they ease restrictions.
This infringement will carry a heavy fine of $4,957, more than double the general toll for breaching the chief health officers orders.
“If it’s two people, if it’s mum and dad, they will both get a fine. That’s nearly $10,000,” deputy police commissioner of regional operations, Rick Nugent said.
Police will also be increasing the number of vehicles they stop.
“Certainly we will be checking every vehicle that is towing a caravan a camper trailer or other trailer, towing a boat or a jet ski or has a surfboard, a fishing rod or swags. They will all be checked.”
Melbournians can still leave the city, but only for permitted reasons, such as work, providing or receiving care, medical reasons and visiting an intimate partner.
Nugent announced on Wednesday, that a new semi-permanent checkpoint would be established on the Mornington Peninsula.
Although classified as part of metropolitan Melbourne and facing the same lockdowns the peninsula is a popular holiday destination with beachside towns such as Portsea and Sorrento.
The original $1,652 find still applies to those travelling illegally to the area.