Fifteen people have been slapped with heavy fines after they breached Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions while partying at an inner Melbourne Airbnb.
The actions of those in attendance at the Southbank apartment on Sunday have been lambasted as “reckless and selfish” by Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton on Wednesday as a further 134 coronavirus cases were announced.
“They just can't do it. People are still not listening and if the only way we can get through to them to listen and to adhere to the directions is through us giving out significant fines, that's what we'll do,” he said.
The group were handed individual fines of $1652.
Comm Patton said while the majority of people were doing the right thing, “we've still got others who are doing stupid, selfish, reckless actions”.
While Southbank does not fall under the 10 postcodes currently in stage-three restrictions that were implemented last week, the state last month reverted back to a maximum of five visitors inside a home and 10 people in a public gathering.
Police Minister Lisa Neville warned anyone attempting to breach current restrictions, which from Thursday will be stage three for the entire metropolitan area of Melbourne, will be caught.
“For those who want to blatantly and obviously and deliberately breach these directives of the Chief Health Officer, police will be there,” she said.
"Whether you're breaking your quarantine at home, whether you're having parties, whether you're having people over to your place or whether it's about you trying to, for no good reason, go to regional Victoria, police will be there."
The new restrictions will prohibit visitors in the home except for caregiving, compassionate reasons or receiving services.
Premier Daniel Andrews urged for Victorians to call out those flouting the rules.
"When you see some people that aren't doing the right thing, then you have to call that out,” he said.
"It's not polite in some ways, it might add to the frustration of some.
"But, you know, we are beyond that. We need to be clear and direct and frank and I am not pleased to be in this set of circumstances.”
An additional 700 police will be deployed to ensure Melburnians who don’t have justifiable reasons aren’t leaving the city.
Comm Patton said there would be a “significant police presence” on main roads surrounding Melbourne’s 31 metropolitan LGAs to enforce a hard border between the city and the rest of the state.
He said if you were out when you shouldn’t be, the chances of getting caught were “very high”.
“People can only go out and about when they have one of those four legitimate reasons,” the commissioner said.
“And so the probability of being intercepted, questioned, asked where you're going and why is very, very high.”
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