Victoria police say up to 100 worshipers who gathered near a synagogue in southeast Melbourne in breach of COVID-19 lockdown rules are to be fined.
People were allegedly spotted entering a building, believed to be a prayer room, near a Ripponlea synagogue early on Tuesday to mark the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
In the afternoon, police officers surrounded both front and back entrances of the building, where an Orthodox Jewish group was believed to be congregating upstairs.
The standoff ended just after 8pm, with several people filing outside.
A TV cameraman was pushed, and the group briefly chanted and clapped in an alleyway, with police officers taking their details before moving them on.
“All adults who attended will be issued with a A$5,452 [US$4,014] fine. A number of children who were present will not be fined,” a Victoria Police spokesman said in a statement. “Investigators believe a number of other people were present and are yet to be spoken to by police. Investigators are working to identify them.”
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said that everyone needs to be united in stopping the spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
“Everybody empathizes there are special occasions, and religious occasions and times that we want to be together with others. All of us feel that way, but it is just not fair that some members of the community feel that they can flout the rules and get away with it,” she told Nine Network TV yesterday.
Victoria Police last month handed out more than A$300,000 in fines to the hosts and guests of an illegal engagement party at Caulfield North. It was hosted by a prominent Jewish family.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that he recognized Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish New Year festival, as a significant time for the community.
“But we all have to be safe in everything we do, regardless of what might motivate us,” he said on Tuesday.
WIDE REOPENING DISCOURAGED: A study from Peking University has suggested that lifting restrictions in the style of the US, UK and others would be catastrophic China would face a “colossal outbreak” on a scale beyond anything any other country has yet seen if it were to reopen in a similar manner to the US. That is a prediction based on statistical modeling by researchers at Beijing’s Peking University. A switch from China’s current COVID-19 elimination strategy to a US-style approach with few restrictions would lead to as many as 637,155 infections per day, according to the study, which was published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. That would be the largest daily figure reported by any country since the start of the
UNCERTAINTY: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not specify measures NATO might take, but many believe that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project could be canceled The US has said it has evidence that Russia has made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine and said NATO allies are “prepared to impose severe costs” on Moscow if it attempts an invasion. Speaking at a NATO ministers meeting in Latvia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade, but added: “He’s putting in place the capacity to do so in short order, should he so decide.” “So despite uncertainty about intention and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see to
NOT ELIGIBLE: Most of those charged over democracy protests were born after the UK handed Hong Kong back to China, figures form Hong Kong Watch showed More than 90 percent of people who have faced protest charges in Hong Kong are too young to access a UK visa scheme dedicated to helping Hong Kongers flee to the UK, say advocates and lawmakers calling for new laws to assist them. The release of the figures on Sunday by advocacy group Hong Kong Watch comes before a British parliamentary debate this week on proposed migration law amendments that would widen the pathway for people with British National Overseas (BNO) status to resettle in the UK. More than 10,000 people were arrested during or after the mass protests that swept Hong
An episode of The Simpsons in which the cartoon family from the US visit Tiananmen Square has been removed from Disney’s streaming channel in Hong Kong at a time when authorities are clamping down on dissent. The missing episode adds to concerns that Chinese-style censorship is becoming the norm in the territory, ensnaring global streaming giants and other major tech companies. Disney+ has made rapid advances since it was launched 18 months ago, reaching more than 116 million worldwide subscribers. The Hong Kong version started streaming earlier this month and eagle-eyed customers soon noticed that an episode of The Simpsons featuring China was