Victoria Police hit Preston protesters with $43,000 worth of fines after coronavirus restrictions ignored

| 10.04,20. 06:29 PM |


Victoria Police hit Preston protesters with $43,000 worth of fines after coronavirus restrictions ignored


Victoria Police officers speak to a woman during an operation against a refugee protest that breached coronavirus restrictions. (Nine News)


Victorian police have slammed protesters in Melbourne with almost $43,000 worth of fines after they ignored coronavirus directive's by the state's Chief Health Officer.
The organiser of the protest was also arrested for inciting members to join him, and remains in custody.
A total of 26 fines at $1652 each were handed out to individuals who were involved in the protest, which called for refugees in the nearby Mantra Hotel to be released.
Three traffic penalty infringement notices were also issued.
Victoria Police said the right to protest was respected, but the health and safety of the community came first during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"While Victoria Police respects the public's right to protest, these are extraordinary times and the health and safety of every Victorian needs to be our number one priority at this time," a police spokesperson said in a statement.
"As directed by the Chief Health Officer, there are only four reasons why people should leave their home - to get essential goods and services, for care and other compassionate reasons, to work or study, or to exercise."

Coronavirus latest in Victoria
Another person with coronavirus has died in Victoria, bringing the state's death toll to 13.
The latest death is a man in his 80s who died in hospital, the state government confirmed on Friday.Victoria had an increase of just 13 cases of coronavirus overnight, tipping the state's total to 1241.
Forty-three people are in hospital - seven fewer than Thursday - with 13 of those in intensive care.
A total of 926 people have recovered.There has been 158 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in health workers.
More than 62,000 tests have been done in the state and there are 116 cases of COVID-19 from unknown sources.
Prevention of Family Violence Minister Gabrielle Williams said staying home over Easter was the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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AAP/9news


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