UPDATE: Police say groups of campers based out at Lake Burrumbeet this weekend have been given a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning permits as many are stuck in transit attempting to get back to their home states.
This morning, The Courier was made aware of a number of holiday makers who were stationed at Lake Burrumbeet.
However, police have moved this afternoon to clarify the reason for campers on the site after they received a number of inquiries from concerned residents.
Police have been conducting regular patrols across known camp sites around the region, but so far those they've detected have held permits to be at the sites.
Under the stage three lockdown, there are only four reasons in which people are allowed to leave their home:
- For food and supplies that you need.
- For exercise.
- For medical care and care giving.
- And for work and education - if necessary.
Victoria Police have been given the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who refuse or fail to comply with the Chief Health Officer.
High-visitation camp sites and parks have also been closed by Parks Victoria over the Easter weekend.
Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton today repeated his strong message that Victorians must continue to be vigilant in practicing physical distancing and staying at home for all but essential outings.
"The rules are clear - and they don't change over Easter: stay at home," Professor Sutton said.
"This is tough for many families, but no Easter holiday is worth a life. Stay at home, protect the health system, and save lives.
"This is not a normal Easter. Travelling, visiting friends, heading to the beach or staying in regional Victoria could see all our hard-won gains evaporate.
"Physical distancing will save lives. I urge people not to look for loopholes but to do the right thing."
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Thursday that people should not be leaving their home, especially for recreation such as camping or holidays.
"This Easter is the time where we can lock in the gains we have made as a country," he said.
"The virus does not take a holiday."
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton had also warned camping was "unacceptable".
"If you're towing a caravan [on your Easter break], that's not going to a normal or ordinary place of residence," Mr Patton said.
"I wouldn't be thinking that going camping or towing a trailer anywhere is an acceptable form of behaviour."
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