Australia

Two anti-lockdown protesters arrested after shopping centre flash mob in Victoria

Victoria Police speak to a person inside of Chadstone Shopping Centre following an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne. Source: AAP

Victoria Police officers outnumbered the anti-lockdown protesters who took part in a singing flash mob at Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Victoria Police says more arrests and fines could be forthcoming, after police dispersed a group of anti-lockdown protesters who staged a less than five-minute protest at a shopping centre south-east of Melbourne's CBD. 

Shoppers at the Chadstone Shopping Centre heard protesters sing John Farnham's classic pop anthem You're the Voice as part of a message that they would not be silenced.

Victoria Police patrol Chadstone Shopping Centre following an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne.
Victoria Police patrol Chadstone Shopping Centre following an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne.
AAP

Victoria Police said two protesters were arrested and six others were issued with fines.  

"We will continue to take the same swift and firm action against those who choose to blatantly ignore the CHO [Chief Health Officer] directions," Victoria Police said in a statement.

"We will also continue to investigate those who attended today." 

Anti-lockdown protests have continued for third consecutive weekend, with 16 people arrested on Saturday. 

The next step on Melbourne's roadmap out of lockdown is from September 28 when some on-site work will return, child care will reopen and some school students will be allowed back into the classroom.

People will be able to meet outdoors for up to two hours with members of one other household, though the five-kilometre travel limit will remain.

On Sunday the state government also announced a $13 milllion in grants to more than 100 live music venues to help support on-stage and backstage jobs during the pandemic.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 5am.

During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons. Between 5am and 9pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative. The full list of restrictions can be found here.

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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