Melbourne residents face a fine of almost $5000 if they enter regional Victoria without proper reason, under a newly introduced offence.
Victoria Police's deputy commissioner of regional operations, Rick Nugent, said police would also ramp up checks as regional Victoria's restrictions loosen further on Thursday.
With the loosening of restrictions and school holidays, he said, there was a risk people from the metropolitan area would travel to regional and rural areas.
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Mr Nugent said a new offence, failure to comply with requirements to remain in a restricted area, had been introduced and would apply to Melbourne residents who entered regional Victoria without a permitted reason.
The offence carries a fine of $4957.
"We will be highly visible and active to prevent people from entering the regional and rural areas, particularly during the school holidays," Mr Nugent said.
"We do not want regional and rural communities to be put at risk by Melbourne metropolitan people.
"We don't want the virus to spread in these rural areas, we want to maintain the restrictions and continue to ease them, as we do here in Melbourne metropolitan area."
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Mr Nugent said police were strengthening their enforcement activities at the border of metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, with more vehicle checks to be conducted at checkpoints.
He said every vehicle towing a caravan, boat or trailer, or carrying such items as swags, fishing rods or surfboards, would be checked.
There would be more random and pop-up checkpoints on back roads, Mr Nugent said, and State Highway Patrol members would patrol these roads, especially in those vehicles equipped with automatic number plate recognition technology, as would local police.
He said there would be more police officers at railway stations and bus depots.
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Police will also be checking campgrounds, state parks, national parks, boat ramps, and around pubs and restaurants.
Mr Nugent said local police would be very active in their areas.
"You might get through a checkpoint... but it's when you're set up, it's when you're out there, we'll be knocking on your door," Mr Nugent said.
He warned those found in regional areas unlawfully would cop the $4957 fine, and if there was more than one person, they would each be fined.
There were seven permanent checkpoints at present, he said, as well as a temporary checkpoint on the Mornington Peninsula.
Be.Bendigo chief executive officer Dennis Bice said that while Melbourne visitors were important, it was essential the city worked through restrictions until they could be eased.
"The last thing we want is further outbreaks in regional areas," Mr Bice said.
He said local businesses were doing an amazing job preparing for restrictions to ease.
"We've just got to support local as best as we can and do it in a safe way, to protect the position we've got at the moment," he said.