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Poker players among the more than 100 fined for breaching Melbourne’s lockdown


A Victoria Police spokeswoman said there were many incidents resulting in fines where “people have been stopped on their way to visit friends, hang out with mates at shopping centres or attending birthday parties”.

Police are enforcing travel restrictions through a series of vehicle checkpoints around metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and issued 21 additional fines issued after 6967 vehicles were stopped between on Friday.

Drivers on one major St Kilda thoroughfare were stopped and asked their reason for travel on Saturday morning.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday declined to discuss individual breaches of the stage three lockdown rules that came into force earlier this week.

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“Whenever you make a rule, there will always be room for interpretation in some parts,” he said

“If we were just dealing with ones where there was a genuine question of interpretation, that’s fine, but some of the examples that the commissioner cited yesterday, there’s no interpretation. That’s just not the right thing.”

On Friday, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton revealed a group of 16 people were fined, after they were sprung in a Dandenong backyard, after members of the birthday party had gone to KFC and bought 20 meals.

Mr Andrews said there was potential for different interpretation of the Chief Health Officer’s restrictions but asked Victorians not to spent time trying to get around the rules.

“Instead, follow them. We all have to do that. We don’t have the luxury of ignoring the reality we face, nor of thinking ‘there’s some other strategy that will just drive these numbers down so it doesn’t matter if I’m not compliant’,” he said.

“That thinking will only see more virus, more cases and a longer lockdown. I don’t want to have people locked in their homes any longer than is necessary.”

Health authorities announced an additional 216 cases of COVID-19 in Victoria on Saturday, with the death of man in his 90s taking the state’s death toll to 23.

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