PM warns Melburnians could be fined for refusing coronavirus test

Scott Morrison warns Melburnians could be FINED for refusing to take a test if they live in a coronavirus hot spot

  • Melburnians who refuse coronavirus test could face fines as outbreak continues
  • Almost 1,000 residents in Melbourne hotspots refused  to be tested last week
  • Prime Minister said figures were disappointing and hopes to provide incentives
  • Victoria has recorded 119 new cases of the deadly virus in the last two days 

Scott Morrison hasn’t ruled out enforcing fines for Melburnians who refuse a coronavirus test as the city struggles to control the pandemic after a sharp rise in new cases.

Victoria is experiencing a second wave of infections after recording its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases in almost three months on Monday with 75 new cases, followed by another 64 on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister has thrown his support behind the Victorian government’s tough suburban lockdowns designed to save Melbourne from coronavirus.

The prime minister warned people refusing to be tested for the disease which has killed 104 Australians could face fines as a hotspot testing blitz continues.

Almost 1000 residents in coronavirus hotspots refused to be tested when authorities knocked on their door last week. 

‘It is disappointing. We are doing it the Australian way,’ Mr Morrison told Channel Nine’s Today Show on Wednesday.

There could be fines for Melburnians who refuse to be be tested for coronavirus after almost 1000 residents living in hotspots refused one last week. Pictured are queues at a drive-in coronavirus testing site at Melbourne Showgrounds on Tuesday

There could be fines for Melburnians who refuse to be be tested for coronavirus after almost 1000 residents living in hotspots refused one last week. Pictured are queues at a drive-in coronavirus testing site at Melbourne Showgrounds on Tuesday

‘We’re looking to do it through incentive, through the use of carrot not stick. 

‘Occasionally the stick will have to be put about, whether it’s fines or sanctions in place to ensure we keep everybody safe.’ 

Mr Morrison said there was nothing surprising about Melbourne’s second outbreak, despite not yet being seen in other states and territories.

‘We always said there would be some. No system is perfect and Australia is still far ahead of the rest of the world,’ he said.

‘Let’s remember seven states and territories have pretty much no community transmission at all. 

‘Where outbreaks do occur you need to move on them as the Victorian government is. 

‘They have our full support with that. We are putting significant resources in to assist them. 

Victoria is experiencing a second wave of infections with 119 new cases in the last two days alone. Pictured is a drive-in testing clinic in Melbourne

Victoria is experiencing a second wave of infections with 119 new cases in the last two days alone. Pictured is a drive-in testing clinic in Melbourne

Mr Morrison said mistakes in hotel quarantine were lessons for other states, noting no system would be perfect. 

He cautioned against other states reinstating shutdowns if local infection rates remain low.

‘We need to keep the economy open. If we don’t do that it will cost jobs.’

Lockdown will be reinforced across 10 Melbourne postcodes from Thursday until July 29.

The impacted suburbs are:

  • 3012 (Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray)
  • 3021 (Alban Vale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans)
  • 3032 (Ascot Vale, High Point City, Maribyrnong, Travancore)
  • 3038 (Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens)
  • 3042 (Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie)
  • 3046 (Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park)
  • 3047 (Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana)
  • 3055 (Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West)
  • 3060 (Fawkner)
  • 3064 (Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo)

People living in those areas will only be allowed to leave home for work, study, essential shopping, exercise or to receive or give care.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has also launched a judicial inquiry into hotel quarantine with a slew of cases linked to staff infection control breaches. 

Under Victoria’s aggressive coronavirus suppression measures, international flights will be diverted away from Melbourne for two weeks.

Queensland is banning Victorians from entering the state but welcoming other visitors from July 10.

South Australia has shelved plans to reopen its Victorian border but is weighing up a travel deal with NSW and the ACT.

The Prime Minister refused to rule out fining Melbourne residents who refuse to be tested for coronavirus. Pictured is a member of the Australian Defence Force taking a swab for a COVID-19 coronavirus test at a drive-through testing station in Melbourne on Monday

The Prime Minister refused to rule out fining Melbourne residents who refuse to be tested for coronavirus. Pictured is a member of the Australian Defence Force taking a swab for a COVID-19 coronavirus test at a drive-through testing station in Melbourne on Monday

Mr Morrison downplayed criticism from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who implored him to stop picking on her state over border closures.

There is an election in Queensland. I’m not surprised the rhetoric is amping up. 

‘We are keeping the country together. 

‘I made similar comments on changes in borders in South Australia.’

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