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Video of Jewish Engagement Party in Melbourne Goes Viral on Twitter and Facebook - Cost Guests $350k:

Huge $350k in fines expected over Melbourne lockdown engagement party
Victoria Police sent a video showing dozens at Melbourne engagement party amid COVID-19 lockdown.

Video of Jewish Engagement Party in Melbourne Goes Viral on Twitter and Facebook - Cost Guests $350k:

According to the report, Police are investigating a video that shows dozens of people attending an engagement party that was allegedly held in Melbourne’s inner southeast last week, in breach of COVID-19 restrictions of the city’s lockdown.

The party was attended by several prominent members of the Victorian Jewish community.

A video emerged online taken from inside the celebration, which appears to show a large group of people of family and friends, maskless, and crowded in a room watching a speech in which a man jokes about coronavirus restrictions.

“Clearly this is legal because this is a group therapy session... that’s why my father’s here,” a man, who appears to be the groom-to-be jokes.

The group of people can be seen laughing at the comments.

Nobody in the video is wearing a mask.

Remember, Private gatherings are banned in Melbourne, and a government spokeswoman said the potential breach had been referred to police.

There are now fears of the alleged event. Which was attended by as many as 100 guests that could spark a COVID-19 cluster.

A mother and son from St Kilda East, the heart of the city’s Jewish community, tested positive for the virus over the weekend despite not having known links to other cases.

COVID response commander Jeroen Weimar told reporters on Sunday he believed the St Kilda East pair had been infectious in the community for several days.

Jeroen Weimar on mystery COVID-19 case
COVID response commander Jeroen Weimar.

There are unconfirmed reports at least one case may have attended the event.

AAP understands at least two medical professionals attended the event, while another guest works as a prison chaplain, though they haven’t conducted a visit since February.

Melbourne’s Jewish leaders have urged community members to follow lockdown rules, among reports of the gathering.

The newly-elected President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Daniel Aghion, has called for calm and said anyone concerned about exposure should contact authorities and the vast majority of the community is abiding by the rules and the family is regretting what it did.

“We are disappointed to learn that a small group have not been following mandatory lockdown restrictions,” he said in a statement.

"I think it can be best described as lockdown fatigue. Somebody made a mistake and did something they shouldn't have," he said.

“We too feel the immense frustration at the current situation, and are focusing our support on significant efforts being made to contain the virus.”

"There's a lot of social media directed against them, first of all outside the community but secondly, the Jewish community itself is disappointed.

"I just want to make it clear the community is compliant."

‘I am genuinely shocked at the brazen disregard for our laws.’

Former Labor MP Philip Dalidakis said he was left “speechless” and seeing people he knew in the video.

“There have been media reports this evening of a serious breach of lockdown rules within the Orthodox Jewish community,” he wrote online, “it is important to state clearly and unequivocally, this is an event that is not representative of the overwhelming Jewish community.”

He added, however, that some “small pockets” of the community should use this event “as an opportunity to reset and reflect on just how dangerous and selfish their behaviour has been.”

“I am genuinely shocked at the brazen disregard for our laws. Not one person in the video should be there, not one person in the video is using masks, not one person in the video is considering the selfish impact their behaviour is now having.

He also said those who attended “should be ashamed” and “dealt with in the strongest possible terms”.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was "angry" about the party.

"It shouldn't have happened. Some of the commentaries in the video are just blatant," he said.

"What makes me really angry about it is there are 69 people at that event and no matter what you're told or what you read, the fact is there has been transmission at that event.

"The only question is whether it will be a super spreader event — it's already a transmission event."

Mr Andrews said each of the 69 attendees will have to be interviewed.

"Their close contacts will have to be spoken to and tested and their close contacts will have to be spoken to and tested," he said.

"Our contact tracers who are working their guts out for all of us will have to spend literally thousands of hours dealing with hundreds and thousands of people connected to that engagement party.

"By its nature, this is uniquely bad."

Mr Andrews also expressed frustration at several weekend mass gatherings, including a pub crawl in Richmond and a street gathering in Northcote.

"This is not about admonishing people or blame, we can't change what happened yesterday, we can only make the best choices today and as we go forward," he added.

Melbourne Lockdown Engagement Party Members Are Very Concerned:

Victoria Chief Police Commissioner ShanePatton said he expected everyone who attended the engagement party in breach of restrictions would be issued an infringement notice.

He also said he expected total fines for that Unlawful Engagement Party Results in 350 Thousand Dollars.

COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar on Sunday said health officers had been meeting with community leaders since Saturday and described the developments as part of a tipping point in the latest outbreak

“They are working hard, they are very concerned, they are keen to understand what the exposure may have been,” he said.

Victorian COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar speaks to the media.

The council has warned of several exposure sites frequented by Melbourne’s Jewish community, including supermarkets and pharmacies in Balaclava, Haymisha Bakery, Daniel's Deli and Doms Balaclava Fruit Mart.

The state recorded 25 new local infections on Sunday. Some 13,000 people in Victoria are in 14-day isolation stints.

We Did Wrong - Melbourne Lockdown Engagement Party Members Said:

Friends of the family who hosted the event have been receiving death threats since the incident became public.

"We did wrong but the hate coming our way is just so mean! So far we're all isolating and have received negative results," a woman said.

Former Victorian Labor MP and member of the Jewish community Philip Dalidakis said he recognised people he knew in the video.

He slammed the gathering in a Facebook post, saying he was "speechless" and "genuinely shocked".

"Not one person in the video should be there, not one person in the video is using masks, not one person in the video is considering the selfish impact their behaviour is now having," he said.

"I hope those in the video are all fined the maximum amount and dealt with in the strongest possible terms. They should be ashamed."

The federal member for Macnamara, Josh Burns, whose electorate encompasses St Kilda, said the gathering undermined the work of people in lockdown.

"Any gathering that is in contrary to the public health guidelines and rules at the moment is deeply disappointing and these sorts of things, whether they're a pub crawl or whether they're a gathering in someone's home, prolong the lockdown," he said.

"These lockdowns have gone on for a long time and people are tired and fatigued and it's a really difficult thing to be going through and these sorts of decisions only make it worse."

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