Moorabool-bound drivers are reporting waits of around 40-minutes to get through a police checkpoint on the Western Freeway at Hopetoun Park.

The roadblock was set up well before dawn this morning (Thursday) with help from Ballarat traffic police as new COVID19 restrictions kicked in at midnight for metropolitan areas.

At 5.30pm today (Thursday) traffic was backed up more than 4km in the west-bound lanes.

At the same time, another on the Princes Fwy at Avalon was backed up almost 4km for Geelong-bound traffic while a checkpoint on the Calder between Gisborne and Sunbury created a 1.5km-long standstill. Another in the Princes between Garfield and Drouin created a 2km jam.

Victoria Police said nine major checkpoints have been set up on arterial roads around Melbourne as part of an extended Operation Sentinel. They will remain in place around-the-clock for “several weeks”.

“Police will be intercepting vehicles at random to ensure they are complying with the stage 3 restrictions,” a spokesperson said.

“Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology will also be used at these sites to detect vehicles that are registered to owners who live in LGAs currently under stage 3 stay-at-home restrictions.

“There will also be mobile police vehicles across the state enforcing the Chief Health Officer’s restrictions for metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

“We will not be providing a running commentary on where police will be located and their daily enforcement activities, however the community can be assured that police will be out and about in significant numbers across the state.”

Police are encouraging people wanting to report breaches to call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

The new checkpoint comes as two police checked the ID and home addresses of shoppers outside Coles in Bacchus Marsh today.

Meanwhile the number of recorded COVID19 cases in Moorabool remains on three. None are active.

The City of Melton has crept up by three to 91. Of those, 19 are active.

All up, Victoria has seen 2092 people diagnosed with COVID19 – and 932 are classed as active.

## COVID19 symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of smell.

If you need to be tested, Djerriwarrh Health Services has a drive-through clinic in Barries Rd Melton, open 10.30am-6pm weekdays and 9am-12pm weekends.

People can also book a test at Darley Medical Centre on 5367 5000

RELATED STORY:  3 more COVID19 cases in Melton LGA, Moorabool steady

Main image: Bec, Bacchus Marsh, waiting at Hopetoun Park

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