COVID safety

Victoria to head back into lockdown

The Acting Premier of Victoria James Merlino has announced a new state-wide lockdown as confirmed COVID cases double overnight.

The outbreak, which was first announced on Monday, currently totals 26 cases, and lists more than 70 exposure sites. That number is expected to grow in the short-term, as roughly 10,000 primary and secondary contacts have been identified.

The circuit breaker lockdown will begin at 11.59pm on 3 June and there will be only five reasons that Victorians will be allowed to leave their homes: Food and supplies, authorised work, care and caregiving, exercise (for up to two hours with one other person), getting vaccinated.

Exercise and shopping will be limited to five kilometres from home. Shopping is also limited to one person per day, per household. Face masks are also mandatory at all times except when at home.

Private and public gatherings will not be permitted.

The current outbreak is particularly worrying as it is the highly infectious B1.617.1 variant which escaped from hotel quarantine. With such a rapid increase in cases, the Victorian Government has stressed the need to move into another lockdown as quickly as possible.

“If we make the wrong choice now, if we wait too long, if we hesitate too much, this thing will get away from us. And lives will be at risk,” stated Acting Premier Merlino.

Throughout the press conference, the acting Premier was notably critical of the Commonwealth’s efforts when it comes to the hotel quarantine system – where the outbreak originated – and the national vaccination program. Looking beyond Victoria, he suggested that both systems needed to be addressed and improved for the sake of the entire nation.

“For every state and territory, for our entire nation, we are not through this pandemic until we’ve had the successful roll-out of the Commonwealth’s vaccine program and we have effective alternatives to hotel quarantine. This pandemic in this nation and across the world will be with us for some time yet, so none of us are through it until those things happen.”


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