New $5000 Fine to Protect Regional Victoria

New $5000 Fine to Protect Regional Victoria
Police check permits and ID of drivers at a checkpoint in Little River for traffic coming from Melbourne into Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula in Geelong, Australiaon Aug. 14, 2020. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Melburnians will be slugged almost $5000 if caught trying to sneak into regional Victoria under a tough new penalty.

Victoria Police will crack down on regional travel as coronavirus rules ease outside of Melbourne at midnight on Sept 16.

The $4957 fine will apply to any adult who tries to travel out of the city without a lawful excuse.

Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said the fine was designed to deter people from Melbourne attempting to run the gauntlet.

"We do not want regional and rural communities to be put at risk by Melbourne metropolitan people," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"We don't want the virus to spread again."

Nugent said police would be checking more vehicles at roadblocks out of the city, inevitably leading to long delays.

"We'll be checking every vehicle that is towing a caravan, a camper trailer or towing a boat or a jet ski, or that has a surfboard or fishing rods," he said.

By Callum Godde