Victoria Will Remain in Lockdown for Another Week
The entire state will remain under its current stay-at-home conditions until midnight on Tuesday, July 27.
On Monday, July 19, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews delivered obvious but still concerning news, advising that the state's current lockdown wouldn't end after five days as originally planned. Today, Tuesday, July 20, he has provided further details at the state's daily COVID-19 press conference, confirming that Victoria will remain under stay-at-home conditions until midnight on Tuesday, July 27.
"We need more time," said the Premier. "This extension is not what we wanted to have to do, but it is the only option."
"We wish we could bring this in earlier, but we can't run the risk that there are cases out there that we don't know about," Andrews continued. "There are chains of transmission that are not yet contained that we don't know about, and if we did open up we would see how quickly this runs, we would see how challenging this can become in a very short space of time. We need to avoid what is going on in Sydney at the moment. We are determined to do that."
Accordingly, the state will remain under the same rules that've been in place now since Thursday, July 15, with Victorian residents 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.
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. 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.
Masks are mandatory everywhere outside of your home — and 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.
Weddings are not permitted, unless on compassionate grounds, while funerals are limited to ten.
While the stay-at-home rules aren't changing for the next week, Victoria is updating its handling of red zone permits — the permits that allow folks who've been in areas deemed red zones under the state's traffic light-style COVID-19 classification system to enter Victoria. After 11.59pm tonight, Tuesday, July 20, Victorian residents returning home won't automatically be granted permits. Those passes will be paused for a fortnight, and you'll only be able to come back from a red zone if you are an authorised worker or you're eligible for a compassionate exemption to the new rules.
"There will be no further 'as of right' red zone travel for the next two weeks," the Premier said. "What I cannot have happen is hundreds and hundreds of people who were warned weeks ago to get back here who have not done that. I can't cope having hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Victorians coming back to Victoria while the situation further deteriorates and we see more and more cases, hundreds of cases in Sydney. We'd get this outbreak under control and then with finish up with another incursion brewing. I don't want that to happen. So those rules will apply for the next two weeks."
Victoria currently has 96 active COVID-19 cases, including 13 new locally acquired cases identified in the 24 hours to midnight last night. The state also presently has 320 exposure sites, with that list growing quickly in the past few days.
As always, Melburnians can keep an eye on the local list of exposure sites at the Department of Health website — it will keep being updated if and when more sites 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, Melburnians should be looking out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste, symptoms-wise.
Victoria will remain in lockdown until midnight on Tuesday, July 27. For more information about the rules in place at the moment, head to the Victorian Department of Health website.
Published on July 20, 2021 by Sarah Ward