Strong Border Enforcement To Keep Victoria Covidsafe

VIC Premier

As the coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales continues to evolve, the Victorian Government is increasing its enforcement efforts along the NSW border to keep our state safe and protect Victorians’ hard work stopping the spread of the virus.

With border zones changing quickly across Australia, anyone travelling into Victoria must hold a valid Victorian Travel Permit to enter Victoria. Victorian residents entering from a red zone must apply for a Red Zone permit to return home, must isolate for 14 days and return a negative test, while interstate residents will be turned back at the border and sent home.

Those travelling from an orange zone must have an Orange Zone permit, get tested within 72 hours and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Since the first red zone came into effect on 23 June, the Department of Health has processed more than 5,000 red zone permits for returning Victorians and more than 21,000 orange zone permits. So far 38 per cent of red zone permit holders have returned a negative test, as well as 31 per cent of those from orange zones.

Victoria’s Authorised Officers are continuing their strong presence at our airports to ensure everyone travelling has the correct permits, as well as conducting regular household visits to those who need to be isolating.

From Friday 25 June, more than 260 Victoria Police officers each day have mobile border zone checks and patrols along the border to restrict unauthorised travel into Victoria and limit the risk of the current outbreak spreading to the state.

Since 11pm on 25 June, there have been more than 2,000 checks conducted, with 53 warnings issued, mostly to people forced to turn around after coming from a red zone.

This targeted, mobile and highly visible police enforcement model has proven to be successful – with data showing a detection rate of 48 out of 1,1000 compared to 1.14 out of every 1,000 while the hard border was in place.

Patrolling six key border crossing zones around Swan Hill, Echuca, Yarrawonga, Wodonga and Cann River, the operation has also seen three booze buses deployed to support mobile enforcement south of the border townships of Bairnsdale, Echuca and Wodonga.

Given the increasing risk from the NSW outbreak, this presence will be bolstered with the addition of the Victoria Police Airwing.

The Victorian Government this morning also made a request to the ADF for 130 personnel to support CHO compliance operations at airports and compliance checks on close contacts and those who have returned home with red zone permits, and work side by side with police officers to protect the state’s borders – particularly if the outbreak in NSW continues to grow.

The Government will continue to closely monitor the situation in NSW and across Australia – with additional options for scaling up border measures available as required.

As stated by Minister for Health Martin Foley

“The hard-fought gains Victorians have made in the last few weeks to run our outbreak to ground are too precious – and we’ll devote all our resources to keeping our state safe as the situation evolves across Australia.”

As stated by Chief Commissioner for Police Shane Patton

“My message is clear – anyone who deliberately, blatantly or obviously breaches Chief Health Officer directions can expect to receive an on-the-spot fine of almost $5000 and will be turned away at the border.”

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