WENDY Lovell has branded the COVID-19 ring around Melbourne "mythical" as her office is contacted by residents worried about apparent lockdown breaches.
The Liberal member for Northern Victoria's calls came amid concerns over a ring that is supposed to be protecting regional Victoria from COVID-19 outbreaks in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.
Ms Lovell has heard from a number of constituents including a Bendigo resident who came into contact with someone travelling by car from major-hotspot Keilor without once being stopped at a roadblock.
"It is understandable that some exceptions need to be made to allow for the delivery of essential supplies and for those who provide critical services," she said.
"However the government must do more to ensure those moving between the lockdown and non-lockdown areas are doing so for essential reasons, that they are screened for risk and that their movements are limited to avoid unnecessary contact with the local community."
The Bendigo Advertiser has been contacted by a number of Bendigo residents concerned people are travelling to town for non-essential reasons.
Victoria's premier Daniel Andrews used a press conference this afternoon to reiterate the government's message that Melbournians should not leave the house unless they absolutely have to.
"It's not an ordinary weekend. It's far from that. The stakes are very high," he said.
Mr Andrews did not announce any changes to the ring around Melbourne, but the government yesterday said it was ramping up testing across regional Victoria to get the data needed for future restriction decisions.
That includes a site in bendigo. The government is also now encouraging regional Victorians over 18 to wear facemasks when they leave the house and cannot physically distance.
Mr Andrews today thanked everyone who was doing the right thing.
"To those who aren't, make better choices or you will be getting a fine. It's not only the wrong thing to do, its also not smart. Victoria Police are out there in force and they are not mucking about," he said.
Victoria Police yesterday reassured central Victorians they were checking people's reasons for travel and were stopping people at random at checkpoints, including those into central Victoria.
Police were also using number plate recognition technology to detect vehicles registered to owners from areas that should lockdown under stage-three restrictions.
Officers were patrolling transport hubs including railway stations, Victoria police said.
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