National

Vic crackdown on virus isolation breaches

By AAP Newswire

Victorians who repeatedly fail to self-isolate will be hit with on-the-spot fines of almost $5000, with the state recording 439 new COVID-19 cases and 11 more deaths.

It comes as a policewoman's head was repeatedly smashed into concrete by a woman who refused to wear a mask on Monday night.

Premier Daniel Andrews labelled the alleged attack "fundamentally disgusting" and "shameful".

The 26-year-old officer needed hospital treatment for her head injuries.

Her attacker, a 38-year-old Frankston woman, was fined $200 for refusing to wear a mask, charged with multiple offences and released on bail to face court at a later date.

The woman was among 60 people fined for not wearing a mask on Monday, with 161 fines issued in total for coronavirus breaches.

Victoria is now ramping up penalties under the public health orders.

From Tuesday, infected people caught breaching isolation for a second time will be slapped with a $4957 on-the-spot fine - the highest police can issue.

In instances of repeat breaches, the person could be taken to court where the maximum penalty is $20,000.

"We don't want it to come to that. We want people to be where they are supposed to be. Because that is how we will all get past this," Mr Andrews said.

Those who are supposed to be self-isolating are also no longer allowed to exercise outside their homes, bringing Victoria in line with other states.

Australian Defence Force personnel and health officials conducted 3000 doorknocks of people who were supposed to be self-isolating and found more than 800 people were not home.

An additional 500 ADF personnel, 300 health staff and 250 police officers will be brought in for "random and repeated doorknocks" at the home of every positive case.

Meanwhile, Mr Andrews said essential workers will be required to carry a permit when travelling to and from work from Thursday.

Some workers - like police officers and nurses - will be able to use their official identification, while others will have to apply for a permit online, which will need to be signed by both the worker and employer.

"If you're pulled up by police, you can simply provide that piece of paper and then you would be waved on to go about your business," Mr Andrews said.

It remains unclear if one or both parents will need a permit to be able to get access to child care.

"There will be a lot of people who would normally send their kids to child care that will not be able to. I know that'll hurt and I know that'll be really challenging," Mr Andrews said.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said he "hoped to be in a position to make an announcement" on child care come Wednesday.

The latest 11 Victorians to die from the virus have been confirmed as aged care residents in their 70s to 100s. Their deaths bring the state's toll to 147 and the national toll to 232.

As the death toll again rises, Melbourne is settling into a new stage-four lockdown.

Under the restrictions, residents must follow an 8pm-5am curfew and cannot travel more than five kilometres from home for shopping or exercise.

Regional Victoria is moving to stage-three restrictions with restaurants, cafes, bars and gyms to shut from midnight on Wednesday.

Falls Creek and Mount Hotham ski resorts will close due to the new restrictions.

New Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said Victoria should see "substantially lower numbers" by the end of the six-week lockdown if everyone follows the rules.

"I would hope it would be in the single figures," Professor Cheng said.