Maskless Daniel Andrews hit with two fines for breaching COVID-19 restrictions

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been hit with two fines for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr Andrews was filmed walking through the state parliament’s car park without a mask on Thursday 7 October.

He also did not wear a mask as he approached the media on Wednesday 6 October.

On both days, Mr Andrews wore a mask as he was driven to parliament but took it off before he walked through the car park.

A police spokesperson confirmed on Friday 8 October, the Premier had been issued two $200 infringement notices over the incidents.

“Victoria Police can confirm it has issued two infringement notices to Premier Daniel Andrews for breaching Chief Health Officer directions,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“Premier Andrews received two fines today (8 October) for not wearing a mask, each to the value of $200.”

Currently, Melburnians aged over 12 must wear a fitted face mask whenever they leave their home, indoors or outdoors, unless a lawful exception applies, including for broadcasting purposes. 

In a statement earlier on Friday, Mr Andrews apologised and said he would pay a fine if police issued one.

“I am aware that as I approached two press conferences at the back of parliament house this week I removed my mask after leaving the car, before I walked to the back doors,” Mr Andrews said in a statement before the fines were issued,” he said.

“I expect Victoria Police to assess this and if they choose to issue a fine, of course I will pay it.

“If they do not issue a fine I will donate the same value to a charity working to support people in this pandemic because whilst this was an oversight, oversights matter – everyone needs to follow the rules and I am sorry it occurred.”

Treasurer Tim Pallas defended the premier, who he said has been “pretty diligent in terms of his behaviour” throughout the pandemic.

“I had a brief look at the footage and it looks like he is approaching a camera for the purpose of doing a piece to camera. You are allowed to not wear a mask for that and we will leave it at that,” he told reporters at the daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said most Victorians had “momentarily forgotten a mask” but noted Mr Andrews walked “some distance” without wearing his.

“He’s done it in front of media, which is probably a bit silly but I will leave that to police,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *