- Victoria is staring down the barrel of renewed coronavirus restrictions, with 10 postcodes to undergo a second lockdown from Wednesday night.
“There will only be four reasons that you are permitted to leave your house and only if you really have to,” said Premier Daniel Andrews. “For work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise, for food and other essentials.”
- The premier did not rule out wider lockdowns.
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Parts of Melbourne are set to return to lockdown conditions due to an “unacceptably high” level of community transmission, Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday afternoon.
From 11.59pm on Wednesday until July 24, people in the postcodes 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060, 3064 can only leave their homes for work, to provide care, to get exercise or to buy groceries.
“There will only be four reasons that you are permitted to leave your house and only if you really have to.” Andrews said. “For work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise, for food and other essentials.”
Schools in all 10 postcodes will remain open until further notice.
Andrews said that penalties will apply for those who breach the lockdowns. “[Police] will be patrolling throughout these communities and if people are out of their home then they will be politely asked why are you out of your home and if you are out of your home for anything other than a permitted reason then financial penalties apply,” he said.
Earlier in June, justice advocates raised alarm that vulnerable and disadvantaged groups had borne the brunt of Victoria’s coronavirus restriction enforcement, The Guardian reported.
The premier also provided an update the testing blitz in the state, saying more than 93,000 tests had been conducted since last week. He said there were a number of people who had refused to be tested. “I do feel obliged to inform you that in Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs alone some 929 people refused to be tested,” Andrews said.
The premier went on to say that he “could not rule out” other postcodes being locked down if they display “more than twice” the state rate of COVID-19 cases. He also suggested other Victorians limit their movements, especially across the state.
“These are extraordinary steps, these are not things we have had to do in the past but such is the nature of this virus, it is so wildly infectious that if we don’t take these steps we will finish up in a situation where rather than locking down 10 postcodes we will be locking down every postcode,” he said.
Andrews, citing a report which suggested a significant outbreak could be traced to hotel quarantine staff “breaching well-known and well-understood infection control protocols”, said he had asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to divert all flights away from Melbourne for “the next two weeks”.
“I will have conversations with other state leaders to explain that and to thank them in advance of the extra load that they will carry,” the premier said.
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