Victoria Police officers patrol through a shopping centre in Melbourne.
Police in Australia’s coronavirus hotspot state of Victoria stepped up patrolling on Saturday as hundreds of people in the city of Melbourne breached stringent lockdown restrictions and flocked to beaches on the warmest weekend in months.
Under the restrictions, nearly five million people in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, may exercise or socialise outdoors for a maximum of two hours a day, but must stay close to home. People must wear masks in public places.
But television and social media footage showed crowds, many people without masks, at some of Melbourne’s beaches as temperatures soared ahead of summer in the southern hemisphere.
“A number of fines were issued to people who breached directions .... and Victoria Police will be conducting increased patrols of popular public spaces this weekend,” police said in a statement.
Fines for not wearing masks reach A$200 ($143) and for breaching public health orders are more than A$1,600.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the behaviour of the beach-goers was “unacceptable.”
“Spending time at the beach without a mask, without social distancing now, will just mean that you won’t get to go to the beach for all of summer,” Andrews said at a televised briefing.
State officials said eight people had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and three more people died. The numbers have been going steadily down after reaching more than 700 in new daily cases at their peak in July.
Melbourne has been under a strict lockdown for months, with the measures set to remain in place until the average number of new daily cases over a two-week window falls below five. On Saturday it was 12.
Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state accounts for 90% of national COVID-19 deaths. Australia, with 893 fatalities, has fared far better than many other developed countries.
Officials reported a total of 886 infections, the highest ever single-day rise in Covid-19 cases, in New South Wales and Victoria states, with the vast bulk in Sydney.
Australian police on Wednesday said they had apprehended a British suspected drug offender, who tried to flee to Papua New Guinea on a jet ski.
Australian police on Tuesday arrested three men accused of links to Daesh over an alleged plot to attack police stations, embassies and defence facilities in central Sydney. The men — aged 20, 23 and 30 — were arrested
Thick fog continued to form for the second day in a row across various parts in the country on Thursday. The fog lasted for 12 hours and a half in several areas of the country on Thursday, as it started at exactly 10 pm and continued until 10:30am, because of the country being affected by surface high-pressure systems, accompanied with a ridge of upper air high pressure, according to the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM).
The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has strengthened Sharjah’s status as a child, youth, and family-friendly city in 2021 by implementing 30 initiatives and campaigns, and through its participation in local and international events. SCFO also announced that its endeavour in 2021 included 14 new activities that targeted 426 participants from various organisations and institutions.
Dubai Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the man in the picture. The African national was found dead in the jurisdiction area of Bur Dubai Police Station with no identification documents
Welcoming the participants, His Highness said: "Dubai provides the safest environment for participants from around the world to discuss ideas and exchange knowledge and insights that contribute to creating a better future for humanity."