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Victorian couple’s unlawful cinema pit-stop surges fines to $10k

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A Victorian couple has copped another hefty fine after breaching stay-at-home orders in NSW before taking COVID-19 to Queensland.

A Victorian couple has copped another hefty fine after breaching stay-at-home orders during their stop-over in New South Wales before taking coronavirus to Queensland.

NSW Police today revealed the 48-year-old man and 44-year-old woman who skipped Melbourne's lockdown earlier this month had been fined $1000 each after making an unlawful pit-stop at a Dubbo cinema.

The pair left Melbourne on June 1, leaving behind a trail of exposure sites as they travelled to the Sunshine Coast by road via the Newell Highway through regional NSW.

READ MORE: Sydney's centre, east sent into lockdown

Under border restrictions at the time, Victorians could travel to NSW but they had to follow stay-at-home directives, meaning they could only go out to shop for food and supplies, essential work, medical and caregiving reasons and for exercise.

The couple visited various locations during their trip which were deemed 'essential'.

But police said going to the movies was not one of the permitted reasons to leave home and therefore breached health directions.

The pair went to Reading Cinemas on Macquarie Street on June 2.

READ MORE: Two COVID-19 cases emerge at Melbourne dry cleaner

"Investigations revealed the pair had taken a route using the Newell Highway, and visited various businesses deemed 'essential services', including retail stores, food outlets, and service stations," a police statement read.

"The pair also attended a cinema on Macquarie Street, Dubbo, on Wednesday 2 June 2021, which is deemed non-essential activity under the Public Health Act.

"Officers from Orana Mid-Western Police District have since advised the 48-year-old man and 44-year-old woman they will each be issued a $1000 PIN for fail to comply with noticed direction."

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The fresh fines take the couple's penalties to a collective total of $10,000 after they were fined $4003 each by Queensland Police last week for flouting border restrictions.

Queensland Police in a statement said the pair had been fined for allegedly providing "false information" on their border declarations.

"Detectives from Task Force Sierra Linnet have issued a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) to a man and woman for allegedly providing false information on their Queensland border declarations," the statement read.

"Police will allege the duo travelled into Queensland on June 5, via Goondiwindi after having been in Victoria and deliberately provided false information to obtain a Queensland Border Declaration Pass 'G' pass."

The couple arrived in Queensland on June 5 and had been staying with family in Caloundra when they tested positive to coronavirus.

The 44-year-old woman returned a positive coronavirus test on June 9, the same day the city's two-week lockdown was given the green light to end.

Her 48-year-old husband then tested positive the following day on June 10.

Source: 9News

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