Fines issued in Victoria COVIDSafe sweep

·2-min read

More than 2200 Victorian businesses have been targeted in COVIDSafe checks so far this month with a third found to be non-compliant.

Seven were slapped with fines of between $1650 and almost $10,000.

Most issues were detected among hospitality outlets, with failures to display COVID safety signs, adhere to patron limits, properly space tables and operate QR code check-in systems.

Acting Police Minister Danny Pearson said more businesses were expected to be hit over coming weeks.

"All businesses have a responsibility to provide a COVIDSafe environment for workers and customers, and we'll be checking up on them to make sure they know their obligations and are doing the right thing," he said in a statement.

"If a business is not following the rules, then they can expect a visit from our authorised officers and enforcement action including on-the-spot fines or temporary closures."

In St Kilda, South Melbourne, Brunswick and Geelong, four hospitality venues were fined $9913 for non-compliance issues including having no QR code check-in.

Since the introduction of new $1652 on-the-spot fines, hospitality venues in Sunshine the CBD and Docklands have all been handed penalties.

More than 200 enforcement notices were also issued in May including 59 written warnings, eight verbal warnings and 136 improvement notices for COVID non-compliance.

Meanwhile, the state opposition has slammed the government's contact tracing efforts, after health authorities listed the wrong Melbourne supermarket as an exposure site.

People had been warned of potential exposure at Woolworths in Epping a fortnight ago but the health department now says a man with the virus actually shopped at Woolworths Epping North.

Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier said the incident is further proof that contact tracing teams are not getting the basics right.

"It just demonstrates again the confusion, the chaos, and the incompetence of the government in managing the COVID pandemic," she said on Saturday.

Health Minister Martin Foley told the ABC the mistake was due to supermarket receipts listing the wrong location.

"Upon review of the evidence and re-interviewing the primary close contacts involved, the receipts from what turned out to be Epping North Woolworths nonetheless said on the receipt Epping Woolworths," Mr Foley said.

Anyone who was at Woolworths Epping North on Saturday May 8 between 5.40pm and 6.38pm must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

The warning comes as Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there may be an active but undiagnosed infectious case in Melbourne's north, after traces were picked up in wastewater in the Epping and Wollert area on Thursday.

Victoria has recorded no new virus cases from more than 15,000 tests, while almost 9000 vaccine doses were administered on Friday.

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