Victoria Police will check more cars and issue a nearly $5000 fine to Melburnians who are caught trying to enter regional Victoria.
In order to protect regional communities who are moving towards more relaxed restrictions, a $4,957 fine has been introduced for people who "fail to comply with the requirements of remaining in a restricted area".
Deputy commissioner, regional operations Rick Nugent said Police had previously tried to balance checking vehicles leaving Melbourne, and having a 15-minute delay at checkpoints.
He said that would now change, with Police vigilant of people sneaking into regional Victoria.
"We will be highly visible and active to prevent people from entering the regional and rural areas, particularly during the school holidays," Mr Nugent said.
"We do not want regional and rural communities to be put at risk by metropolitan Melbourne people. We don't want the virus to spread again in these rural areas.
"At vehicle checkpoints we will check more vehicles. Up until now, we've been doing all we can to enable a flow through of our vehicles and minimising the amount of time that they are delayed at these checkpoints. That will change.
"Certainly, we'll be checking every vehicle that is towing a caravan, a camper trailer or other trailer towing a boat, or a jetski, or that has a surfboard or fishing rods or swags that will all be checked."
Mr Nugent said he'd asked local patrols to be out in force to "protect" their communities.
"I've asked local police in all the regional and rural towns to protect their local community. I've asked them to be very active in ensuring that they are the protectors of their community," he said.
"Their community doesn't want people from metropolitan Melbourne traveling up there, or down there, and putting people at risk. So those local police and highway patrol will be patrolling the roads.
"They'll be checking vehicles. They'll be checking parks and camping grounds. They'll be checking national parks. They'll be walking around the vicinity of pubs and clubs and restaurants and bars.
"They'll be active in checking the number plates of vehicles by both automated number plate recognition, but also through the devices they have in their cars."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.