VICTORIAN Police Minister Lisa Neville has stopped short of banning holiday homeowners from travelling to their second residences over Easter.
But she has appealed to everyone to do the right thing and stay home.
If the owners of a second house down by the coast or in regional areas must go, they can only go with the people they currently share a house with.
However, the Minister has posed the question about why anyone would want to go with such severe restrictions on most activities.
After providing an update on the latest COVID-19 figures, Victoria up 16 positive cases overnight to 1228, with 110 community transition cases, up nine, Ms Neville said it was vital that everyone continued to observe the strict social distancing and isolation rules.
“This Easter you could really make a significant dent in those figures if you chose not to do the right thing and the vast majority of people are doing the right thing,” Minister Neville said.
“The starting point with Easter is ‘stay at home’, stay at your primary residence, stay where you live with the people you currently live with. Yes, legally you can go and visit your holiday home if you own that holiday home.
“My view, the view of the Premier, the Chief Health Officer and the Prime Minister is don’t do that, create your own traditions at home, at your primary residence.
“Do not go and travel to our coastal and regional communities this weekend. If you are going to do that, go and visit your holiday home, it’s only the people that you currently live with that can go with you.
“Now let me go with you what you can’t do this Easter. You can’t rent a holiday house. You can’t go to an Air BnB, you can’t camp, you can’t caravan, you can’t boat, you can’t fish – these are very clear rules.
“You can’t catch up with friends. You can’t catch up with family that you normally don’t live with. They’re the can’t so if you’re thinking right now about this weekend and heading down to the coast or a regional community and you fit into one of those categories please do not get on the road. Please do not head down to a rental property or an Air BnB.
“Don’t think you can take your car and your camping equipment and head off somewhere remotely because Victoria Police will be out there making sure people are doing the right thing.”
All rentals cancelled
Greg Price of Alex Scott and Staff said property agents across the region had already responded to the ‘stay at home’ directive.
“All Alex Scott and Staff offices have notified their landlords that because of the Stage 3 restrictions, limiting travel, all bookings have had to be cancelled and they have cooperated fully by providing 100% refunds,” Mr Price said.
“We are encouraging everyone to support the directive of the Federal Government to minimise your travel to regional Australia.
“Alex Scott and Staff fully supports the initiatives for Flattening the curve as the sooner we do that, the better it will be for everyone.
“We hope everyone has a safe and happy Easter and would encourage everyone to spend it at home.”
Despite the comments of the Minister, and the local support for the ‘stay at home’ message, it is already noticeable that coastal areas, from Inverloch to Phillip Island in particular, are busier than usual.
Minister Neville has warned that police will be enforcing the special Easter arrangements restricting travel, activities such as fishing and boating, and social assembly but Ms Neville said there wasn’t a need for roadblocks to popular locations like the Surf Coast at this stage.
View the video statement by Minister Neville with Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton and Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy.