Harsher penalties for breaching restrictions

4 August 2020

Written by: Esther Rubio Campos

500 more ADF personnel to be deployed in Victoria to help enforce new restictions

Daniel Andrews announced today harsher fines and restrictions for people breaching COVID-19 measures, especially surrounding isolation breaches.

ADF and authorised DHHS officials conducted over 3,000 house checks for people who tested positive or were close contacts of a positive case. 800 people were not found at home when personnel knocked on their doors.

The Victorian Premier reinforced the mission of door knocks.

“It’s not just about compliance. Beyond that is also about providing support, providing information, providing clarity,” Andrews said.

People who have tested positive will no longer be able to exercise, they will only be allowed to leave their homes for medical care. If they breach this regulation they could get a spot fine of $4,957, the largest on the spot fine for an individual in Victoria.

This new fine joins the already implemented $1,652 fine of breaching DHHS directives and the $200 fine for not wearing a mask.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton talked about adding 250 police and PSO, to the already 1,500 daily operating officers, to patrol the streets and enforce the measures.

“In at least three or four occasions in the past week we’ve had to smash the windows of people in cars and pull them out of there so they can provide their details, cause they were not telling us where they were going. They weren’t adhering to the Chief Officer guidelines. They weren’t providing their name and their address,” he said.

Patton explained an incident over breaching mask restrictions. A woman in her late 30s was approached for not wearing a mask and a scuffle broke out. The conflict ended with a woman being arrested after smashing the head of a police officer against the floor several times.

“That behavior is just totally unacceptable. That’s someone who thinks their above the law. They’re not wearing a mask, they’re approached and they’re asked their reason why not. And then to react like that is just completely over the top. It’s this type of irresponsible behavior that we are going to address,” he said.

The new measures contribute to the third straight day of announcements, of what will be the new normal for the next six weeks.

The newly imposed rules bring Victoria close to experiencing what other nations dealt with  in the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions. Spain and Italy saw complete lockdowns that prohibited citizens from leaving their homes unless necessary.

Stage four restrictions look alike. But, on the bright side, Victorians can still go out and get their daily exercise for up to an hour each day.

Another better looking statistic comes with 439 reported cases in the last 24 hours. Still a high number, however it’s far from the thousands of cases a day that other countries experienced, or are experiencing today.

It’ll be another week or two before we could see the results of the new measures.

Police car in the Melbourne city centre by Mike available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.