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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Victoria's Current Lockdown Won't Be Ending on September 2 Due to High COVID-19 Case Numbers

"With almost 100 cases today — where many of them remain mysteries, many of them were out in the community during their infectious period — it is not going to be possible for us to be able to open up our Victorian community in just a few days time," said Premier Daniel Andrews.
By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2021
  shares

Melbourne's sixth and current lockdown has been in place for almost a month, and it won't be lifting in the coming days. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews advised today, Sunday, August 29, that statewide stay-at-home conditions will remain in effect past 11.59pm on Thursday, September 2 — the last end date that was announced back in mid-August — given that Victoria continues to record high numbers of locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

The city first went into this lockdown at the beginning of Augustjust nine days after the previous lockdown ended — and has seen the stay-at-home rules extended not once but twice already, and a nighttime curfew implemented as well. In regional Victoria, the rest of the state started this lockdown with Greater Melbourne, then was released early just a few days later, and then re-entered lockdown just over a week ago.

"Essentially, we see far too many cases today for us to be able seriously consider opening up later on this week. Obviously, with almost 100 cases today — where many of them remain mysteries, many of them were out in the community during their infectious period — it is not going to be possible for us to be able to open up our Victorian community in just a few days time," the Premier said.

Victoria reported 92 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to midnight last night, and has a current total of 778 active cases throughout the state. New case numbers have been sitting above 40 per day since Wednesday, August 18.

Exactly how much longer the lockdown will run hasn't yet been announced. "We will, however, look at all the different options," said the Premier. "We don't have advice yet from the Chief Health Officer as to what is possible, and what is safe, later on this week. As soon as we get that advice and decisions are made, we'll announce them, and we'll give people as much notice as we can."

Before this lockdown, and the July stay-at-home stint before it, the city was also asked to remain at home in February and May this year. Thanks to the two lockdowns in 2020, too, the rules are obviously very familiar now, with Victorian residents still only permitted to leave home for five reasons: shopping for what you need, when you need it; caregiving and compassionate reasons; essential work or permitted eduction that can't be done from home; exercise; and getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Also in place during this lockdown: a curfew from 9pm–5am, meaning that no one is permitted to leave their house overnight except in very limited circumstances — which includes authorised work. On that subject, if you need to leave your home at all and at any hour for authorised work, you need to get a permit to do so.

Victorians must also stay within five kilometres of their homes, unless you're leaving for permitted work or shopping for essentials if there are no shops in your radius.

Private gatherings are banned, as are public gatherings. While you can't have any visitors enter your home in general, there are single bubbles, and intimate partner visits are allowed. So, if you live alone, you can form a bubble with another person or see your other half.

Playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment are all closed. You can also only exercise outdoors with one other person, plus any dependents you both have, even if you live in a larger household — and for a maximum of two hours per day.

Also, masks are mandatory everywhere outside of your home, and can't be removed outdoors to drink alcohol.

Weddings are not permitted, unless on compassionate grounds, while funerals are limited to ten. Hairdressing and beauty services, indoor physical recreation and sport venues, swimming pools, community facilities including libraries, entertainment venues and non-essential retail venues remain closed — and hospitality venues have reverted back to takeaway-only. Supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies are still open, however.

As always, Victorians can keep an eye on the local list of exposure sites at the Department of Health website — it keeps being updated as more locations are identified.

For those looking to get tested, you can find a list of testing sites including regularly updated waiting times also on the Department of Health website.

And, has remained the case throughout the pandemic, Victorians should be looking out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste, symptoms-wise.

Victoria will still remain in lockdown until after Thursday, September 2; however, the exact end date hasn't yet been announced. For more information about the rules in place at the moment, head to the Victorian Department of Health website

Published on August 29, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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