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COVID-19 fines handed to Victorians who breached coronavirus restrictions

A footy fan said he invited his four friends over to watch a game as an excuse for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

Police handed him the $1,652 fine after finding the host with his mates at his Mount Alexander property, north-west of Melbourne, on Saturday.

The man was just one of 268 people who were found to have breached coronavirus restrictions across the state over the last 24 hours.

Police also stopped a driver who claimed he was helping a friend move a television from Doncaster East to Dandenong in Melbourne.

He told officers he planned to make a pitstop to get a burger from a fast food restaurant.

Another man was caught breaching curfew and walking St Albans street at 2am.

He had been on his way home after sharing some drinks with friends in the city. 

Police also handed out fines to 38 people for not wearing a face-mask for an approved reason and 77 residents for breaching curfew. 

Under stage four restrictions applying to metropolitan Melbourne, people must stay at home between 8pm and 5am, unless they need to leave for work, medical care or caregiving.

Outside of those hours, residents can’t leave home unless they are shopping for food or essential items, for exercise or permitted work and must stay within a 5km radius of their homes.

Under stage three restrictions applying to regional Victoria and Mitchell Shire, stay-at-home restrictions are in effect.

All Victorians must wear a face mask when they leave home. 

The breaches come as state premier Daniel Andrews urges Victorians to accept a COVID-19 normal until a vaccine is found. 

‘What I would want to do is make sure there are as many people at Christmas dinner as possible,’ Daniel Andrews said on Saturday.

‘Until we get the vaccine, it is going to be part of our lives, but it is not about going back to normal, it is about finding COVID-normal.’ 

The state reported 466 new cases on Saturday, 450 on Friday and 471 on Thursday.

Another 12 deaths in the 24 hours to Saturday, including a man in his 30s and six deaths linked to aged care, brought the state’s toll to 193.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton found the positive message in the numbers – that 400-500 daily averages meant stabilisation, rather than exponential growth.

‘But we can’t have 500 cases every single day and the associated morbidity, hospitalisation, intensive care requirements and debts that are associated with that number every day,’ he said.  

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