Regional Victorian businesses face huge fines for failing to check the addresses of dine-in customers

Regional Victorian businesses face huge fines for failing to check the addresses of dine-in customers

Businesses in regional Victoria will face fines of close to $10,000.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in regional Victoria will be fined close to $10,000 if found guilty of allowing Melbourne visitors to now dine at their businesses.

The hefty penalty was announced by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday in an attempt to prevent Melburnians travelling into regional areas without a permitted a reason and work towards helping stop the spread of COVID-19 to regional Victoria. The rule came into effect at 11.59 pm on Sunday, with checks enforced by asking customers to show their drivers’ licence.

“From 11.59 pm on October 11, businesses in regional Victoria will be required to take all reasonable steps to determine where a person is from before they are seated,” Mr Andrews said.

“This will have different applications in different settings, but there is a fine, there is a penalty of nearly $10,000, which is the standard business penalty for not complying with other parts of the COVID-safe plan.”

Andrews added that regional businesses that do the right thing but are misled by someone intent on breaking the rules would not be fined under the changes.

The change comes after a COVID-19 outbreak in Kilmore was linked to a Melbourne resident who had dined at a local cafe, against existing rules, however many businesses around the region have already been enforcing this measure to for their own protection in recent weeks.

Alongside the new rules, Andrews reiterated those attempting to travel to regional Victoria without a lawful reason would be slapped with a $5000 fine.

“If you are going into regional Victoria and you’re entitled to be there, then you have to understand it’s simply unacceptable for you to be doing anything that might spread the virus in regional Victoria, and therefore, the rules travel with you.”

Regional Victoria restrictions won’t move to the last step on the road map until there are 14 days of no new cases across the entire state with a further delay being created by coronavirus cases remaining at double digit levels.