PEOPLE living in metropolitan Melbourne will be hit with a $4957 fine if they and try flee to regional Victoria.

Regional Victoria will enter Step Three from 11.59pm tonight (Wednesday, September 16) – which means there will be no restrictions on leaving the home – while those in metropolitan Melbourne are still under tough restrictions.

“With the easing of restrictions and school holidays, there is a risk that people from Melbourne metropolitan area will travel to regional and rural areas,” Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner, Regional Operations, Rick Nugent said.

He said the fine was “quite significant” and “clearly aimed” to deter people from metropolitan Melbourne entering regional and rural Victoria.

“We will be highly visible and active to prevent people from entering the regional and rural areas, particularly during the school holidays.

“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 again in these rural areas. We want to maintain the restrictions and continue to ease them, as we do here in Melbourne metropolitan area.”

He said Victoria Police would be strengthening its enforcement activities, particularly at the borders and also in regional and rural areas.

Police will be checking every vehicle entering regional Victoria which is towing a caravan, camper trailer or any other trailer, a boat or jet ski, or that has a surfboard, fishing rod or swag, he said.

“They’ll all be checked. There will be delays at these vehicle checkpoints.”

There had been reports of people trying to access their second homes in the country, including at coastal areas in Bass Coast and South Gippsland, but Melburnians will have to think twice about their reasons for travelling.