Melbourne duo arrested after Covid breach captured on TV

·2-min read

Police have charged two men after they allegedly failed to comply with border rules and travelled from Victoria to the AFL grand final in Western Australia.

On Tuesday morning, WA Police put out an urgent appeal to the public to help locate the men who had recently travelled interstate and allegedly falsified documents to get into the state.

According to police, an anonymous tip said that Hayden Burbank, 49, and Mark Babbage, 39, had been in Melbourne, a 'restricted' location, within 14 days of entering Western Australia.

Burbank and Babbage also allegedly attended the AFL grand final last weekend after arriving in the state on September 22.

Hayden Burbank, right, and Mark Babbage allegedly falsified documents to get into Western Australia. Source: WA Police
Hayden Burbank, right, and Mark Babbage allegedly falsified documents to get into Western Australia. Source: WA Police

The men were allegedly seen in the background of television interviews at the game, celebrating the win.

Another photo of the celebrations showing one of the men was uploaded to the AFL's Instagram page.

Speaking this afternoon, Commissioner Chris Dawson said the men's G2G application to enter the state said they had only been in the Northern Territory, which would have made them eligible to enter the state without having to quarantine.

"On the 27th of September, police received an anonymous tip off that these two males had allegedly been in Victoria in the preceding 14 days prior to arriving here, and they both attended the grand final at Optus stadium," Comm Dawson said.

"Urgent actions were taken by police and through help of the community this morning, we made those two arrests."

Police confirmed later in the day the two men were arrested at Bunker Bay, Naturaliste, and they were with another woman at the time.

One of the men can allegedly be seen in the background of a television interview at the grand final. Source: 9News

The group was taken to get tested for Covid-19, with one man and the woman testing negative while the results for the second man came back inconclusive.

"To say that this is disappointing is an understatement," Comm Dawson said. 

"How people could knowingly put others at risk in these times is selfish and contemptible. Police will allege a serious criminal offence and the investigation into what these two men have been up to continues."

Police will allege their G2G application was false and if the false information had not been provided the two men would not have been eligible to enter the state.

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