Victorian businesses found intentionally flouting COVID-19 rules – such as the requirement to use QR Code systems – will be slapped with a new $1,652 on-the-spot fine.
Where there are repeated breaches, a further $9,913 fine can be issued and businesses may be prosecuted in court for continued, blatant or willful non-compliance.
Venues and facilities are required to maintain an electronic record-keeping system for all visitors. During the Government’s three-week COVIDSafe Blitz in April, more than 4,000 hospitality and retail businesses were checked for compliance across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
More than 165 enforcement notices were issued throughout the operation and a further 300 verbal warnings – with common issues including failure to use QR codes, no COVIDSafe Plan and no density quotient signage.
Enforcement checks over the past week continue to show a trend of complacency, with 37 per cent of businesses visited flagged as non-compliant with QR Code check-in rules.
The new on-the-spot fine allows Authorised Officers to issue an immediate penalty which will deter businesses from intentionally ignoring Chief Health Officer rules and putting Victoria’s hard-won gains at risk.
The premier says authorised officers will be out and about throughout May and June, targeting compliance with record-keeping and QR code requirements. Businesses not doing the right thing will be issued with the $1,652 fine, along with an Improvement Notice which triggers a follow-up visit.
The new fine comes just before the mandatory switch to the free Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app from 28 May 2021.
Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services Danny Pearson said that while most businesses were doing the right thing, those who weren’t were letting down every Victorian who has made sacrifices along the way.
“As we’ve seen this week, it’s essential every Victorian checks in when visiting a business, to help contact tracers quickly find those who could be at risk of coronavirus exposure.”
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