A Melbourne man who had driven more than five kilometres to reportedly go gold prospecting in the Ballarat area is one of the latest to cop a hefty fine from police for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
He was one of 73 people across the state in the past 24 hours who breached Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton's directions.
It is the first reported breach involving the Ballarat region since the start of August when a Melbourne man drove to Ballarat twice for some "fresh air".
It comes on a day when regional Victoria advances to the 'third step' of the roadmap to recovery, where Victoria Police will crack down even further on drivers leaving Melbourne for attempted freedom in the regions.
Fines will increase to $4957 for each adult without a lawful excuse.
The state recorded a promising 28 cases of the deadly virus in the past 24 hours, but sadly another eight people lost their battle.
Other fines issued in the past 24 hours were for not wearing a face covering when leaving their home (22 people), at vehicle checkpoints (eight) and for curfew breaches (eight).
One man was fined for driving from Dandenong to Moonee Ponds to buy a coffee outside of curfew hours (9pm to 5am).
In other data, 23,512 vehicles were stopped at checkpoints across the state and 4069 spot checks on people at home, businesses and public places were carried out.
That brings the total to 440,771 spot checks since March 21.
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