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Melbourne bar cops fine close to $10k for breaching COVID-19 restrictions

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A bar in Melbourne’s inner-north is the first venue to be slapped with a fine close to $10,000 for continuing to operate despite COVID-19 restrictions.

A bar in Melbourne's inner-north is the first venue to be slapped with a fine close to $10,000 for continuing to operate despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Victoria Police revealed the licensed venue in Fitzroy was yesterday fined $9913 for serving two patrons alcohol on Saturday night, blatantly ignoring government shutdown obligations.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said six staff members were caught working inside the venue, with management refusing to state why or how long they had been in operation.

"It was being treated as open for business," he said.

"That is a really big hit. It is the first time we have issued an infringement, but it won't be the last.

"We have been fairly lenient in that, we have issued a lot of warnings. But I think now the time for that has passed.

"Unless you've been living under a rock, or are an idiot, you know the restrictions are there.

"We may get to an arrest stage if people don't adhere to this."

It comes as Victoria experienced 96 new positive coronavirus cases yesterday, bringing the state's total to 917.

Coronavirus: Stage three restrictions in effect tonight

The state has today entered stage three restrictions, whereby if individuals breach the two-person gathering limit (excluding households), they face on-the-spot fines of $1652 for individuals and $9913 for businesses. Larger fines can also be issued through the courts.

In the past 24 hours, officers have conducted 1225 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state as part of Operation Sentinel.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said police would be cracking down on both individual and businesses who flouted government restrictions.

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"Unless you are seeking medical help, unless you're getting food and essential services, attending work and education, or exercising you must stay home," she said.

"These are now enforceable rules."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-melbourne-bar-fitzroy-cops-fine-breaching-stage-three-restrictions/8e14e49b-2e1b-4380-aa07-ebd9a7c46581

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