UPDATE: A short time ago, the State Government of Victoria announced mandatory testing for all returned travellers. Those who refuse will be required  to quarantine for a further 10 days, meaning 24 days in total.

EARLIER: As Victoria continues to try and contain the recent, worrying spike of COVID-19 cases, there are threats to fine returned travellers who refuse to undergo tests for the virus.

Per reports in the Herald Sun, this drastic move comes following reports that up to 20% of returned travellers in hotel quarantine are refusing to be tested.

Victoria is the only state in Australia to have a charter of human rights, and the government is said to be seeking legal advice on how to get “around” this in order to impose fines.

More than 19,000 returned travellers have spent time in mandatory hotel isolation since lockdowns commenced, and 200 known cases of COVID-19 have come from this source.

There were 41 new cases recorded in Victoria yesterday, the highest number since April, and the state government is considering drastically tightening restrictions to try and contain the spread.

The state is also considering setting up police checkpoints to monitor people moving in and out of known hot spot areas, and may impose restrictions on leaving home in certain suburbs.

As many as 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel are now on the ground in Melbourne in an attempt to help contain the spread of the outbreak.

It is not known how specifically these military personnel will assist, but a representative for the state government said:

“This support will mean we can get even more tests done and results back quickly – and a stronger effort to remind Victorians if you are sick, stay home and get tested.”

Image: Getty Images / Darrian Traynor