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‘Don’t do anything silly’: time limit on 5km rule could be extended, Premier warns

The Premier’s comments came after the city’s warmest day since mid-March saw thousands of pandemic-weary Melburnians hit bayside beaches.

But Mr Andrews urged Victorians not to undermine months of lockdown with poor behaviour.

“People love to go to the beach when it’s sunny but there’s a global pandemic on, and we’re very close to beating the second wave,” he said.

“The numbers are coming down. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again. And if you want to spend summer at the beach, then that will be the time to do that, if we don’t do anything silly or anything selfish right now.”

Police made several arrests at Melbourne beaches on Saturday. In vision obtained by Nine News, one man was arrested on the St Kilda foreshore. The man, dressed in a black T-shirt and white pants, tried to break the hold of four police officers before being dragged to the ground and handcuffed.

A police spokesman said the alcohol-affected man allegedly struck a police vehicle and then refused to give his details. After a short scuffle, the man, 32, was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, assaulting police, drunk and disorderly conduct and breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

A man was arrested by police on the St Kilda beach foreshore on Saturday evening.

A man was arrested by police on the St Kilda beach foreshore on Saturday evening. Credit:Nine News

Another man who allegedly assaulted officers in St Kilda on Saturday was also arrested. The 24-year-old is expected to be charged with assaulting police, a police spokesman said.

In a separate incident that was widely circulated on social media, a woman at Altona Beach was arrested by police and walked off the sand in handcuffs.

As police tried to put a mask on the woman, people filming the incident could be heard yelling, “Why are you arresting her? What did she do?”

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A police spokesman said the woman was allegedly aggressive towards police, refused to provide her details and was found to be more than five kilometres from home.

“Victoria Police was pleased with the behaviour of the vast majority of Victorians [on Saturday] but disappointingly there were still those who put lives at risk by not adhering to the directions of the Chief Health Officer,” the police spokesman said.

While Melbourne was set to reach a top of 28 degrees on Sunday, rain is likely to spoil the party for people hoping to soak up the sunshine. The Bureau of Meteorology was predicting showers in the late afternoon and evening and the possibility of thunderstorms over the eastern suburbs.

“Unfortunately, if we have large crowds of people doing the wrong thing, then we will have no choice but to close the beach or park as a last resort,” he said.

“We are trying to prevent closure through a range of measures. However, we will only be able to keep our beaches and parks open if each person plays their part by sticking to the Chief Health Officer’s orders.”

Kingston Council mayor Georgina Oxley called for Melburnians to do the right thing and said closing beaches was “very much a last resort and we don’t want to get there”.

Data released by Victoria Police shows that at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, the police assistance line received about 100,000 calls during the month of April, 66 per cent more than during an average month.

Nearly four in 10 were people dobbing in other Victorians for breaching coronavirus restrictions.

After calling the actions of those flouting the rules “a bit of an insult to everyone who has done it tough for months”, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has praised those social distancing properly.

In response to a photo of small, separated groups of picnickers at Northcote’s All Nations Park, Professor Sutton said on Twitter he was pleased to see people taking heed of the current restrictions.

“This is great. We can, and should, enjoy the outdoors. Safely. Well done,” he tweeted.

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