LOCKDOWN might be over, but central Victorians and police are grappling with new restrictions in place from Friday.
Under new state government rules, Victorians are now required to check in at all retail stores, supermarkets and cafes.
It comes as regional Victoria moved out of lockdown restrictions on Friday, while Melburnians remain under the circuit-breaker until at least June 10.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said police would be out in force over the next seven days to ensure people complied with all directives.
He said more than 200 police would patrol main and backroads across the state to ensure Melburnians did not flout lockdown restrictions.
"Police will be using automated number plate recognition systems to assist them in identifying vehicles from Melbourne in regional and rural areas," he said.
"We will also have a heavy presence in all of the backroads heading out of Melbourne.
"Police will be providing a highly visible and proactive response checking vehicles to ensure they are complying with CHO directions and they can travel out of Melbourne in the regional areas."
From midnight Thursday to 11am Friday, more than 400 cars across the state had been stopped and checked.
All but one were compliant with the directions.
Deputy Commissioner Nugent hoped everyone would follow the rules.
From Friday, regional businesses must check all IDs of customers to ensure they were allowed to be in the area.
Deputy Commissioner Nugent said it was a state government directive.
"If there is any particular community safety concern, (people) can call the police," he said.
Bendigo's Green Olive Cafe co-owner Scott Lindsay said staff at his Bath Lane venue caught out several would-be customers from Melbourne during previous lockdowns.
"If you're not prepared to produce your ID, then we won't serve you," he said.
He said the revised restrictions presented a new challenge to cafes.
Density limits mean the Green Olive can only seat 10 customers inside at a time.
"So we ask ourselves, are we better to stay shut and lose money, or open up and try and recoup a small percentage?" Mr Lindsay said.
"We just encourage locals to come and support local businesses, because your support has never mattered more than it does right now."
Brougham Arms Hotel publican Scott Macumber said the new venue capacity rule of 50 patrons meant his business was worse off than in previous lockdowns where they could serve 20 people in each area of the pub.
Meals will now be served in two sittings - at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
"It's the only way we can operate," Mr Macumber said. "All we are doing is paying wages, rent and power bills."
Mr Macumber was concerned for staff severely affected by the snap lockdown and ongoing restrictions.
Many of the staff had been left with no income during the lockdown.
Other central Victorian venues told the Bendigo Advertiser they had thrown out or lost food worth more than the state government's assistance package offered to businesses affected by the lockdown.
Regional businesses will be expected to check the IDs of patrons from Friday to ensure Melbourne residents are not in the regions.
Australian Hotels Association Victoria executive board member and Hotel Shamrock Bendigo owner Ray Sharawara said the new requirements for businesses were understandable but difficult.
"We are going to have to check our patrons IDs but we don't believe that the onus should be on us as business owners," he said.
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"The onus should be on the customer, if the customer gets into the venue without checking in, not to the right and not providing their ID then we believe they are the ones that should be held responsible."
Mr Sharawara said at his business, they will be requiring every patron to check in once they walk in the door and present their ID.
Once everything is checked, he said patrons will be given a tag to put on their jacket or top.
"In doing that process, we believe that it will take the pressure off our workers," he said.
"I have some issues with putting our staff under that pressure, our staff are not policemen or women.
"Having said that, our staff being in the liquor industry, we are used to checking on people and patrolling the responsible service of alcohol and gaming.
"We have experience checking IDs but it's a big task and I really feel for my staff that they have to police this and I wish they didn't have to do that."
Acting Premier James Merlino said mandatory ID checking was important to keep the community safe.
Customers must now check in whenever they attend a venue.
"We've also outlined, as part of these new settings, that businesses in regional Victoria will be required to check the ID of patrons coming into a cafe, restaurant, other settings, to make sure that they are able to be in regional Victoria - either because that's the period in which they're staying in regional Victoria at a holiday house, or in accommodation," he said.
"The combination of businesses checking ID and very prominent patrols 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and spot-checks by Victoria Police, as well as Victorians doing the right thing - we think this is the best approach."
"If it's clear that the person who's coming into the cafe or restaurant shouldn't be in regional Victoria, then the expectation that we have on those businesses is that those people are not served, and quite clearly told, you know, it's not appropriate."
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