Police say they had to break off their pursuit of a woman who allegedly sped through a COVID checkpoint, as she was driving too dangerously.
Police in Victoria have arrested a 57-year-old woman for evading a checkpoint and crossing the border from NSW to Victoria in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The woman, driving a grey Volkswagon Passat station wagon, allegedly sped through the Chandlers Creek checkpoint.
“A pursuit was initiated but soon terminated owing to increasing risk to the community, caused by the alleged manner of the woman’s driving,” Victoria Police said.
“Police will allege the 57-year-old Bateau Bay woman had earlier attempted to enter Victoria and was directed to return to NSW and make an application for a permit to enter the state.
“An off-duty police officer spotted the woman driving near Nhill, allegedly en route to South Australia, about 5pm on Wednesday afternoon.
“A co-ordinated response by general duties police, highway patrol and detectives from Western Region ensured a safe resolution.”
The police successfully deployed a tyre deflation device on the Western Highway around 6pm, stopping the woman. She was then arrested without incident.
“(She) will be assessed and interviewed at a later date by detectives for offences including conduct endangering life, failing to stop on police direction and contravening chief health officer directions,” the cops said.
Beateau Bay is on the NSW Central Coast, placing the woman in one of Victoria’s designated “Red Zones”.
While we’re on the subject, Victoria is imposing new restrictions on its border with NSW from 11.59pm tonight.
They apply to people who have previously been issued Green Zone permits for the Blue Mountains and Wollongong.
“Green Zone permits that were issued for the Blue Mountains and Wollongong are no longer valid,” the Department of Health says.
“You must apply for a new travel permit through Service Victoria, get tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria, and self-quarantine at home for 14 days from where you last left the region.
“Victoria’s border with NSW remains closed and no one who has been in the northern beaches area, Greater Sydney and the NSW Central Coast can enter.
“The rest of NSW is designated as a ‘Green Zone’. If you hold a Green Zone permit, your permit is still valid and you will not be required to apply for a new permit.
“Residents in border communities do not require a permit, however you must travel with your driver’s licence or other valid photo ID with your address details.”
The state government “strongly advises” Victorians not to travel to NSW, as they may find themselves unable to re-enter without spending 14 days in hotel quarantine.
Yesterday Victoria recorded three locally acquired COVID infections, ending a 61-day streak without any such cases.
The three cases — two women in their 40s and a woman in her 70s — were reported to authorities in Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon, and none of them were in hotel quarantine.
Authorities have already been in touch with all three cases’ close contacts and advised them to isolate.
The three cases are from Hallam, Mitcham and Mentone, all in Melbourne’s southeast.
A spokesperson for the Victorian Government says the three new cases are believed to be linked to the Sydney cluster.
Victoria’s Commander of COVID-19 response, Jeroen Weimar, said in a statement that close contacts were identified.
“We have three cases that are self-isolating at home and are being supported and monitored … We have been in this position before and we are deploying our full outbreak approach around these cases,” Mr Weimar said.
“Extensive contact tracing is underway and as a result there are currently more than 40 primary close contacts that are being supported to isolate.”