Australia

Victoria Police issue $26,000 of COVID-19 fines after partygoers make early-morning KFC dash

Victoria Police patrolling the streets of Melbourne. Source: AAP

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said it was extremely concerning to see so many people flouting public health directions in the middle of a lockdown.

Victoria Police have fined 60 people for coronavirus breaches in the past 24 hours, including 16 who were traced back to a birthday party after an early morning dash to KFC.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said it was extremely concerning to see so many people flouting public health directions in the middle of a lockdown.

Victoria on Friday confirmed a record 288 new coronavirus cases overnight in the biggest single-day increase in Australia since the pandemic began.

Mr Patton said police busted a surprise birthday party after ambulance officers noticed two people ordering-up large at a Dandenong KFC.

"We had [ambulance officers] who were at a KFC in Dandenong, and while they were getting something to eat, they saw two people who were ordering 20 meals at 1.30 this morning," he told reporters.

"We got the registration number of the car and we followed it to an address in Dandenong. When we went in, there were two people asleep but there were 16 others hiding out the back."

The partygoers tried to avoid police by hiding under beds and in the garage, Mr Patton said.

"Police issued 16 fines for this deliberate, blatant and obvious breach of the chief health officer's directions."

He said the fines totalled $26,000.

Police had also fined four sex workers for breaching stay-at-home orders at a Glen Waverley apartment, Mr Patton said.

"Police attended and found four people inside the address who did not reside there," police said in a statement.

"Further enquiries revealed the apartment was being used to facilitate sex work in breach of the stay-at-home directions."

A Docklands couple was fined after trying to get to their Phillip Island holiday home at 1.30am.

"They were turned away at one checkpoint and given a warning, and then attempted to re-route before being stopped at a second vehicle checkpoint," police said in a statement.

"The driver was issued with a fine, and we are planning to fine the passenger as well."

Premier Daniel Andrews said the Melbourne lockdown could be extended beyond six weeks if people continued to flout directions.

"I would appeal to every single Victorian. The only way for us to bring stability to these numbers is for all of us to stay at home."

Residents in metropolitan Melbourne are subject to stay-at-home orders and can only leave home for essential work, study, exercise or care responsibilities. People are also advised to wear masks in public.

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 sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Residents in Melbourne public housing towers who need access to support and assistance should call the Housing Call Centre on 1800 961 054. If you need a translator, first call 131 450. Both services are 24/7. More information can be found here.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch