The majority of penalties for breaches of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria will move forward only as cautions rather than fines.

Police officers who issued infringement notices for breaches of restrictions have now been instructed not to proceed with fines for the infringements, according to The Age.

Over 19,000 penalties were handed out in Victoria for breaches of chief health officer orders over 2020, however, the change in direction would mean that most of the would-be fines will not cost offenders anything.

The question of whether or not fines should be paid by those offending has long been debated, with Premier Daniel Andrews weighing in on the issue in October last year.

At the time, the Premier warned that there was “too much at stake” if people break rules without consequences.

Up until October last year, only 845 of all fines issued had been paid, according to The Age, 18 per cent of the fines issued had reached a “notice of final demand” stage with thousands more registered for further enforcement action.

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