Hungry partygoers in Australia inadvertently outed themselves to police thanks to a massive group order at KFC, leading to a huge fine for disobeying coronavirus guidance.
On Friday, Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton spoke at a press conference about the “ridiculous” breaches of the stay-at-home order in Australia. He told the story of two paramedics who were grabbing a meal at KFC in Melbourne on Friday morning and noticed another pair of customers in the restaurant ordering 20 takeout meals at 1:30 a.m.
The paramedics spoke to the employees at KFC. “Subsequently, there was a report made to us,” Patton said. “We got the registration number of that car and we followed through and went to that address.”
When police arrived at the townhouse, two people were asleep in front of it, Patton said. There were 16 more people hiding out back with their KFC meals. They had been celebrating a birthday.
“That is absolutely ridiculous, that type of behavior,” said Patton. “It’s a very expensive night when you think, apart from the KFC, we’ve issued 16 infringements at that amount. That’s $26,000 [Australian dollars] that birthday party is costing them. That’s a heck of a birthday party to recall.”
In U.S. dollars, that comes out to a little more than $18,000.
Australians in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire were instructed to return to Stage 3 stay-at-home restrictions on Wednesday of last week “in response to a significant increase in community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in these areas,” according to a website for the local government.
The restrictions allow four reasons for leaving the house, The Guardian reported: shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, work and study.” Though, if a person is able to work or study from home, they must do so, and employers have been instructed to support employees to stay home.
Clearly, partying with KFC doesn’t fall within the guidelines.