Victoria said on Tuesday that anyone breaking COVID-19 isolation orders will face hefty fines, as high as $20,000, and that more military personnel will be deployed to fight the spread of the virus.
Australia, once heralded as a global leader in containing COVID-19, is desperately trying to slow the spread of the virus in Victoria to prevent a national second wave of infections.
Victoria earlier this week imposed a night curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s daily movements and ordered large parts of the local economy to close to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But nearly a third of those who contracted COVID-19 were not home isolating when checked on by officials, requiring tough new penalties, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday.
Fines of nearly $5,000 will be issued to anyone breaching stay at home orders. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to $20,000.
“There is literally no reason for you to leave your home and if you were to leave your home and not be found there, you will have a very difficult time convincing Victoria police that you have a lawful reason,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
The only exemption will be for urgent medical care, said Andrews, adding anyone under a self-isolation order will no longer be allowed to leave their homes for outdoor exercise.
“Fresh air at the front door. Fresh air in your front yard or backyard or opening a window,” he said.
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Andrews said an additional 500 unarmed military personnel will this week deploy to Victoria to...