‘Absolutely insane’: Brothel fined for flouting stage 3 rules, police investigating Portsea couple
More than 10 Victorians have been fined in the past day for breaching stage 3 coronavirus restrictions, as well as a Geelong brothel which was so busy on Wednesday it caused a local traffic jam.
Police have also confirmed they are investigating a Portsea couple who allegedly breached isolation guidelines after returning from a skiing trip to Aspen.
"I understand we are looking into the report from the Portsea alleged breach of isolation guidelines and if it is determined that there were we would take action. But at this stage we don't have an outcome on that," Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said on Thursday.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton.Credit:Scott McNaughton
Police issued 13 fines on Wednesday for breaches of Victoria's stage 3 coronavirus restrictions. A group of people who were intoxicated and drinking on the street were fined, as were several people who were driving around in a car looking to buy drugs.
Another person, who was at a gathering at a home where they do not live, was also fined.
It comes after a woman in her 70s died in hospital as a result of the virus, bringing Victoria's death toll to five. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state surpassed 1000 on Thursday, with the diagnosis of another 68 people taking the total to 1036.
Mr Patton said he was shocked that a Geelong brothel had been operating on Wednesday.
"It astounds me. We were called there, to this brothel, because the street was that busy at one stage it became a traffic jam. That is absolutely insane in this current environment," he said.
The business was fined $9913, and an escort was also issued with a fine of $1652.
Mr Patton said people in the community could no longer feign ignorance about social distancing guidelines.
"That’s not going to cut it," he said.
"People must know … they cannot have this contact and the intent is for them to be at home, bunkering down and not potentially spreading this virus.
"People need to think, if they do breach these guidelines, how are they actually going to feel if they are positive and they have infected people and they have caused them injury or in the worst case death?"
Under stage 3 restrictions, there are only four reasons residents can now go out: shopping for food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise, and work or education. Gatherings are limited to two people who are not from the same household.
Police carried out 1084 spot checks on people who have been instructed to self-isolate on Wednesday.
About 270 police officers, including two who have been diagnosed with the virus, are currently in self-isolation.
The front reception counters at 40 per cent of police stations have been closed. Stations will continue to operate as normal behind the scenes and at least one station in each of the state's 21 police divisions will remain open to the public.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos did not rule out stage 4 restrictions for Victoria.
"When we look today at a significant jump in community transmission, that is concerning," she said on Thursday.
"We want to ensure the community follows all of these stringent measures … and there may need to be further measures put in place."
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