Victoria has reported 11 more COVID-19 deaths and 76 additional diagnoses as authorities expect to combat anti-lockdown rallies across the state.
The statistics on Sept 5 take the state’s death toll to 661 and the national count to 748.
Police are urging people to adhere to restrictions on community movement as some groups plan for protest rallies against the measures.
Four men have been arrested and charged with incitement over the Freedom Day rally planned for several inner-Melbourne locations, including the Shrine of Remembrance.
A pregnant Ballarat woman also faces the same charge over a rally planned for the regional city.
The woman posted video of herself in handcuffs on Wednesday and it went viral.
Police have also warned about 80 people against attending the Melbourne rallies as they enforce Victoria’s lockdown rules.
“The tinfoil hat-wearing brigade are alive and well in our community,” Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said.
“They’re taking every opportunity to leverage the current situation to serve their own ridiculous notions about so-called ‘sovereign citizens’, about constitutional issues and about how 5G is going to kill your grandkids.”
On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews backed police efforts to shut down any planned protest rallies while the lockdown rules remain in place.
“You can’t ignore the reality you’re in and give yourself a leave pass and go and do something that, in all likelihood, will contribute to the spread of this (virus),” he said.
The premier is on Sunday due to announce how and when Melbourne and regional Victoria will come out of respective stage four and three lockdowns.