Victorians who ignore social distancing rules can now be slapped with an on-the-spot fine of up to $1,652, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The fines would be dished out to people attending large gatherings or ignoring 14-day self-isolation requirements for new arrivals. However, people ignoring the 1.5-metre distancing recommendation will not receive fines.
“If you see people doing the wrong thing, call it out,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday morning.
Gatherings subject to fines include weddings larger than five people, funerals larger than 10 people, and home auctions.
Additional fines of up to $9,913 will be given to non-essential businesses operating unlawfully.
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said that police would be patrolling coastal areas in particular, and warned that beaches would be officially closed if people don’t follow advice.
“If you need to go for a walk, exercise, great, but this is not about spending a day at the beach,” she said.
“Victoria Police have one of its largest operations today, out across the coastal communities.”
The new regulations come as people continue to gather in public, including at St Kilda beach.
Overnight, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Victoria jumped by 111 to 685.
Similar fines of up to $1,000 were introduced in NSW on Wednesday.