THE shortage of police, as a result of officers being furloughed for exposure to COVID-19 has forced a change to the border force in the NSW border.

But according to a statement issued by Victoria Police Media on Friday, October 8, it’s good news, bad news for regional areas.

“Due to updated health advice, Victoria Police will be scaling back its enforcement at the NSW state border,” said police.

“The police presence will gradually reduce over the next few days and as of Tuesday, the dedicated border operation with more than 300 police will come to an end.

“After that point, Victoria Police will use its local resources to patrol the border to ensure ongoing compliance with the permit conditions.

“One hundred police resources, originally earmarked to work at the state border, will be redeployed to Operation Guardian to patrol the metro regional border.

“The remaining 200 resources will return to their original place of work or to assist with COVID-19 enforcement operations.”

Operation Guardian has had an impact on escapees from Melbourne locally, checking licences and travel intentions at a number of checkpoints on and around Phillip Island this week, and have issued a number of fines.

A $5,452 fine can be issued for anyone found breaching directions from the Department of Health.