Victoria Is Going Into Another Five-Day Snap Lockdown From Midnight Tonight
With new COVID-19 cases identified in Melbourne, the entire state will go into its fifth lockdown until 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 20.
For the fifth time since the start of the pandemic, Victoria is going into lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. The new stay-at-home conditions will come into effect at 11.59pm tonight, Thursday, July 15, and will last for five days at this stage, running through until 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 20. If this was Sesame Street, five would be the number of the day, obviously.
Announcing the news, Premier Daniel Andrews said "you only get one chance to go hard and go fast. If you wait, if you hesitate, if you doubt, then you will always be looking back wishing you had done more earlier." He continued: "I am not prepared to avoid a five-day lockdown now only to find ourselves in a five-week or a five-month lockdown. That is why we are making this very difficult decision and why I know Victorians will, despite the pain and difficulty of this, know and understand there is no option."
The lockdown comes as Victoria recorded ten new locally acquired COVID-19 cases yesterday, as well as another four cases so far today — with two of the latter announced at a briefing this morning by the state's COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar, and two more revealed this afternoon. Three of those new positive cases for today are linked to an AFL game at the MCG this past weekend, with the venue named yesterday as one of the latest exposure sites.
Victoria now has 75 exposure sites, 1500 primary close contacts and 5000 secondary close contacts. "That is how fast this moves," the Premier said.
At present, Victoria's outbreak is linked to cases that have filtered down from Sydney — which has been under lockdown for almost three weeks now, and will remain under stay-at-home rules for at least two more weeks.
Victorians will be familiar with the rules and restrictions from previous lockdowns, including the last one in May and June. Just like a month or so back, you'll be able to leave your 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.
Exercise must be limited to two hours a day with your household members, your intimate partner or one other person who is not from your household or your partner. Once again, though, Victorians must stay within five kilometres of their homes, unless you're leaving for permitted work or you're shopping for essentials if there are no shops in your radius.
Masks are also mandatory everywhere outside of your home — and private gatherings are banned, as are public gatherings. But, while you can't have any visitors enter your home in general, there will be 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.
Weddings are not permitted, unless on compassionate grounds, while funerals are limited to ten.
Last time that Victoria went into lockdown, the stay-at-home period lasted for one week in most of the state, and for two weeks in Melbourne. Since then, the state has been living under COVID-19 restrictions regarding gatherings and venues, as always happens after a lockdown.
All of Victoria will revert back to stage four restrictions from 11.59pm on Thursday, July 15 until the same time on Tuesday, July 21. For more information about the rules, head to the Victorian Department of Health website.
Published on July 15, 2021 by Sarah Ward