Andrews fires up over mass virus breach
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has fired up over growing pressure to fine those who blatantly breached Melbourne's 5km-radius rule and sparked a cluster of 43 infections in the southeastern suburbs.
"On the point of what is more valuable, a $1652 fine for someone who went to visit someone or the true fortune that comes from them telling us when they went there, who they spent time with, who we should be going and tracing, testing and locking down - this is not thousands of dollars. That is billions of dollars. Because that is the coup to getting us opened up," the Premier told reporters on Monday morning.
"If you have a situation where any of those 43 people are not full, frank and independence, then you don't stop it at 43. It becomes much, much bigger."
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services testing commander Jeroen Weimar revealed members of five households in Hallem, Clyde, Narre Warren South and Cranbourne North travelled outside the mandated 5km radius, leading to the outbreak in Casey.
But they have not been fined. Instead, Mr Andrews alluded to the group responsible not being forthcoming with vital contact tracing information if they were to be slapped with fines for breaching lockdown measures.
"The true value, the true riches, the fortune out of this comes from the information that people who have got this virus give us. We are not changing our stance on that because the last thing we want to do is to try and do contact tracing where people are not being truthful. That is almost impossible," the Premier said.
"It just means that people - not everyone perhaps - but I think a significant proportion of people will not give you the full story and if you haven't got the full story you can contain this virus. Then we will all be locked down. We will all feel better because someone got a fine, but we will be in this for longer than we should be. That doesn't make sense."
The Premier also admitted on Monday six households could now be involved in the outbreak.
"I believe it is contained to a number of households. Whether it is still five, I would get advice on. I think it may be six households. It is all the same transmission," he said.
Originally published as Andrews fires up over mass virus breach