Victoria Will Reintroduce Strict Stay-at-Home Orders for All of Metropolitan Melbourne for Six Weeks

The new lockdown will come into place at 11.59pm on Wednesday, July 8 — but there are some differences this time.
Samantha Teague
Published on July 07, 2020

After reintroducing stay-at-home orders for ten Melbourne postcodes last week and another two on the weekend — as well as hard lockdowns for nine public housing towers — the Victorian Government has today, Tuesday, July 7, announced that lockdowns will come into place (again) for the whole of metropolitan Melbourne, as well as Mitchell Shire, from tomorrow. The decision comes as Victoria records its highest ever new case totals for two consecutive days: 127 yesterday and 191 today.

Coming into place at 11.59pm tomorrow, Wednesday, July 8 for six weeks, the new rules are very familiar. They're very similar to what were in place at stage three of the state's COVID-19 restrictions in late March. So, if you're in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, you'll only be able to leave your home for one of four reasons: for work or school (if you can't do this from home), for care or care giving, for daily exercise or for food and other essentials.

Making the announcement today, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the one difference to the last lockdown relates to daily exercise. There weren't strict limits on how far you could travel for exercise last time, but this time, you cannot leave metropolitan Melbourne. "You can't leave metropolitan Melbourne to get your daily exercise," Andrews said. "You can't be going on a four-hour bushwalk hundreds of kilometres away from Melbourne. You can't be going fishing outside the metropolitan area, down into regional Victoria."

Andrews says the reason for this is that regional Victoria has "very, very few cases" and they hope to keep it this way. 

Like last time, businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shires will need to revert back to stage three rules, too. Which means, restaurants and cafes must offer takeaway only, and gyms, galleries, beauty parlours, swimming pools, libraries and theatres will all need to close. As Andrews acknowledges, this has the potential to further cripple many industries — including hospitality, music and the arts — that were hit hard by the first lockdown.

"No one wanted to be in this position," Andrews said. "I know there will be enormous amounts of damage that will be done because of this. It will be very challenging. The alternative is to pretend it's over... But we can't pretend it's over. It is not over in so many parts of the world and it is not over in metropolitan Melbourne and to a certain extent right across Victoria." 

Melburnians and those in Mitchell Shire are now only allowed to leave their homes for one of the four aforementioned reasons and risk an on-the-spot fine in Victoria for going out for anything else. This means, non-essential travel outside of your homes, let alone across the border, is off the cards, but many states and territories, including Queensland, NSW and the ACT, have also recently introduced travel bans for Victorians. If you head into NSW, for example, you risk an $11,000 fine and six months in jail.

Stay-at-home orders for all of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will come into place at 11.59pm on Wednesday, July 8 for at least six weeks. For more information, head to the Department of Health and Human Services website. 

Published on July 07, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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