Blunt warning for those flouting COVID rules

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a blunt warning to those who planned on flouting restrictions as the state faced another spike in coronavirus cases overnight.

"The stakes are so high. The police will not issue warnings. The commissioner made it clear," he said as he addressed media this morning about the state's COVID-19 outbreak.

"That's his call. I support the call he made. These rules are not new. We are frustratingly aware of what it takes to bring this under control and that's what we must do and everyone has a part to play.

"I don't think it's too much to ask every Victorian, only go out for the four reasons. Not asking you to enjoy it, no-one will be enjoying it. It's what has to be done and police are out there in force, well supported by the Australian Defence at checkpoints and other important functions that Victoria Police have stood up to have that hard border.

"Every Victorian has a part to play."

Daniel Andrews said there are more than 1000 active cases in the state, with more than 250 cases under investigation. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Daniel Andrews said there are more than 1000 active cases in the state, with more than 250 cases under investigation. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

While the Premier applauded the "vast majority" for adhering to the restrictions, he was quick to discourage rule breakers from thinking they won't get caught.

"I would thank every Victorian doing the right thing. That's the vast majority. That's a deeply impressive thing. There will always be a small number who don't do the right thing.

"Not only is it wrong, it's not very smart. Victoria Place will catch you. Police will catch you."

When asked if there had been any incidents of rule breaking so far, the Premier responded, "Not that I can speak to, no. The Chief Commissioner and the Police Minister may be able to provide you with further details of standouts, as it were.

"There's no need for anyone to get fined. These rules are really clear. If you do the right thing, you won't be at any risk of getting a fine, but if people do the wrong thing, then this is so serious."

And police have not shied away from making examples of people.

A late-night trip to KFC in Melbourne yesterday cost a group of "selfish" revellers $26,000, with police ramping up lockdown enforcement.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton was not happy about the KFC party. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton was not happy about the KFC party. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton was noticeably frustrated as he gave an update yesterday, touching on the incident.

"We had ambos who were at a KFC at Dandenong and while they were getting something to eat they saw two people in there and they were ordering 20 meals at 1.30 this morning," Commissioner Patton said.

Police were called and given the registration of the car, which was traced and led officers to a nearby townhouse, he said.

"When we went in, there was two people asleep but there were 16 others hiding out the back and they (had) just got the KFC meals at a birthday (party).

"That is ridiculous, that type of behaviour. It is an expensive night when you think apart from the KFC, we have issued 16 infringements.

"At that amount, that is $26,000 that birthday party is costing them. That is a heck of a birthday party to recall. They will remember that one for a long time."

The warnings come after Victoria confirmed another massive spike in virus cases, with 216 new infections recorded overnight.

Mr Andrews also revealed a man in his 90s died in hospital overnight from the virus.

He warned residents that if the virus isn't brought under control then "it will spell tragedy for many more Victorian families".

Yesterday the state recorded 288 new COVID-19 cases, the highest spike since the pandemic began.

Originally published as Blunt warning for those flouting rules


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