VICTORIAN businesses found intentionally flouting the Chief Health Officer’s rules – such as the requirement to use QR code systems – will be slapped with a new $1652 on-the-spot fine.

And a further $9913 fine can be issued if there are repeated breaches. Businesses may be prosecuted in court for continued, blatant or wilful non-compliance with the rules.

Venues and facilities are required to maintain an electronic record-keeping system for all visitors – “which is critical for ensuring quick contact tracing in the event of a new coronavirus case, as we have seen this week,” the state government said today (Thursday, May 13).

During the government’s three-week COVIDSafe blitz in April, more than 4000 hospitality and retail businesses were checked for compliance across metropolitan and regional Victoria.

More than 165 enforcement notices and 300 verbal warnings were issued throughout the operation, with common issues including failure to use QR codes, no COVIDSafe Plan and no density quotient signage.

“Enforcement checks over the past week alone continue to show a worrying trend of complacency, with 37 per cent of businesses visited flagged as non-compliant with QR code check-in rules,” the state government said.

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 government said.

“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 $1652 fine, along with an Improvement Notice which triggers a follow-up visit.”