Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has gone rogue against an unmoving Federal Government, and will place all Victorians into “Stage 3” lockdown as of midnight tonight.
The Victorian Premier confirmed the new restrictions in a press conference this morning, asserting that from tomorrow residents will only have four legitimate reasons to leave the house: essential supplies, exercise, medical treatment, and unavoidable work.
These enforceable restrictions have been brought in line with the loose Federal Government guidelines that discourage gatherings of any more than 2 people – be it inside or outside. Though, rather confusingly, that excludes members of your own family or household, in cases where there are more than two people in a family unit or sharehouse.
Regardless, the entire Victoria Police force – beyond the 500 officers assigned last week specifically to coronavirus response – will now be directed to level on-the-spot fines of $1,652 to any individual found to be in breach of the gathering restrictions. That fine increases to a whopping $9,913 for any business found to be flouting the regulations. Those fines for both individuals and businesses can increase dramatically through the courts as well.
A very stern and direct Andrews asserted “I have a very simple message today – stay at home,” at a press conference this morning.
“No gathering with friends is worth someone’s life. This is not just about Grandma, this is about all of us. And unless you want to be burying an elderly relative or your best mate or your parents… then do the right thing,” Premier Andrews said.
While playgrounds, skate parks, and outdoor gyms across the state will now close under the renewed measures, Premier Andrews stopped short of issuing any further business closure mandates. This causes some grey areas with regards to scores of retail businesses that remain open or the hospitality businesses doggedly trying to stay afloat by offering take away options, given the directive from the Premier was to only leave the house for essential food supplies only when you need them.
Victoria’s coronavirus count rose by 56 cases overnight to a total of 821.