Restricted visitors travelling into regional Victoria face $5000 fine

By Ivy Jensen

PEOPLE travelling from restricted areas into regional areas of Victoria risk a $5000 fine.

The new offence, which is called failure to comply with a requirement to remain in a restricted area, will be introduced in Victoria from midnight tonight.

In a media conference earlier, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner of regional operations Rick Nugent said the fine was aimed to deter people from the Melbourne metro area travelling to regional areas.

“With restrictions easing and school holidays there's a risk people from Melbourne will travel to regional and rural areas," Deputy Commissioner Nugent said.

"We will be checking for potential unlawful travellers, campers, caravaners and restaurants, bars and cafes, hairdressers, beauty salons and other outlets.

"Failure to comply with the requirements to remain in restricted areas the fine will be $4957.”

Deputy Commissioner Nugent said police would increase their patrols of checkpoints and check every vehicle across Victoria’s seven permanent borders between Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Local police will be used as an additional resource for the operation.

“People heading to Echuca State Park might think it’s okay because they’re only camping, but it’s when they go to the café and shopping centre and servo. The risk of that is seeing another outbreak which is the last thing we want,” he said.

“Local police will be important to this operation because they know those local areas and will be checking them.”

Deputy Commissioner Nugent also urged regional accommodation providers to not take bookings from visitors coming from restricted areas.

“Don’t take someone from metro areas. Yes, it may assist with your business, but you will be putting people at risk,” he said.

"We don't want the virus to spread again in the rural areas."


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