Melbourne Bar Fined Almost $10,000 For Ignoring Social-Distancing Rules
A Melbourne bar has been fined almost $10,000 for not following social-distancing rules.
The licensed venue in Fitzroy was hit with a $9913 fine on Monday after police found six staff serving two customers drinks on the weekend.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the venue was being treated as "open for business totally", despite a ban on in-person dining at restaurants and bars.
"Unless you're living under a rock, or unless you're an idiot, it's quite clear the restrictions are there, the restrictions are to be abided by," he told reporters.
It is the first on-the-spot fine issued by Victoria Police for breaching social-distancing measures.
In the past 24 hours, officers have conducted 1225 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state.
From Tuesday, individuals can be fined $1652 if they leave home for any reason that is not essential.
The new social-distancing rules also restrict public gatherings to two people. Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms have also been closed.
Businesses found to be flouting restrictions face a $9913 fine, while larger fines may also be issued through the courts.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said people may only go out of their homes to buy essentials, exercise, seek medical attention or go to work or study if they can't do it from home.
"People will not get the leniency we have seen in the past," she said.
Neville noted there may be times when discretion is used.
She encouraged people to call the police if they see others flouting the rules instead of taking matters into their own hands.
"Don't take action into your hands, don't fight with your neighbours, we want to come out as a community stronger," she said.
From Tuesday, Victorians will also no longer be able to buy guns or ammunition until the end of the pandemic, after a spike in panic buying.
Patton said it was concerning that applications for firearms had doubled recently.
The ban on gun sales only impacts sport and recreational use and not primary suppliers or people who use guns for work such as farming and prison guards.
The ban follows similar measures in Western Australia and Queensland.
The state confirmed 96 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the tally to 917. Four people in the state have died from the virus.
The cases continue to grow at about 10 per cent, down from a previous high of 25 per cent, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.
He was cautiously optimistic about how the crisis is developing.
"We can cap cases in Australia to 10,000 to 15,000," he said.
"The alternative is hundreds of thousands, that means hundreds or thousands of deaths."