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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Victoria Will Go Into a Snap Five-Day Lockdown In a Bid to Contain the Holiday Inn Outbreak

The whole state will revert back to stage four restrictions tonight, which means only leaving home for one of four reasons and staying within five kilometres of your house.
By Samantha Teague
February 12, 2021
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By Samantha Teague
February 12, 2021
  shares

In a bid to contain Melbourne's latest COVID-19 outbreak — which as of 11pm on Thursday, February 11 sees 13 cases linked to the Holiday Inn cluster — the Victorian Government has announced a snap lockdown, which will see all of Victoria revert back to stage four restrictions from tonight until midnight on Wednesday, February 17.

As of 11.59pm tonight, Friday, February 12, all Victorians will only be able to leave their home for those familiar four 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; and exercise.

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, 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 — so no visitors may enter your home — as are public gatherings. Weddings are not permitted (unless on compassionate grounds) and 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 will all close during the five-day period and hospitality venues will once again revert back to takeaway-only.

Supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies will remain open.

The announcement comes as the Victorian Government this morning declared all of Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport a Tier 1 exposure site, between 4.45am–2pm on Tuesday, February 9, after a recently confirmed positive case spent eight hours there. Anyone who has been to a Tier 1 exposure site during the designated times must immediately isolate, get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the test result.

The last time Melbourne reentered stay-at-home orders was back in early August, with those restrictions remaining in place for six weeks and slowly easing from mid-September. Back in August, Victoria was recording in the realm of 671 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, whereas today's new case number was five. There are currently 19 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

Premier Daniel Andrews says the situation is different this time, however, because of the COVID-19 variant that is circulating in the community. "Now, Victorians will be well familiar with the term 'UK strain', 'UK variant of concern'," the Premier said today. "We have talked about this for a long time, because it is so hyper-infectious, and moves so fast, that it is presenting a very, very real challenge to our status, our stay-safe, stay-open, our precious thing that we've built — all of us — throughout 2020."

"I am sad to have to report, it is the advice to me that we must assume that there are further cases in the community than we have positive results for, and that it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country over the course of these last 12 months."

All of Victoria will revert back to stage four restrictions from 11.59pm on Friday, February 12 to 11.59pm on Wednesday, February 17. For more information about the rules, head to the Victorian Department of Health website

Published on February 12, 2021 by Samantha Teague

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