Victoria's State of Emergency Has Been Extended for an Additional Four Weeks
It's the fourth time it has been extended, and comes as masks has been made compulsory in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Victoria's strict rules surrounding social distancing and public gatherings have been extended until at least midnight on Sunday, August 16, with the government announcing the extension of its COVID-19 State of Emergency.
First made in March and due to expire at midnight on Monday, April 13, the State of Emergency has already been extended until May 11, June 20 and July 19. With the new extension, the state's current restrictions — which include a new mandatory requirement to wear masks and facial coverings in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, areas that are also presently under stay-at-home requirements — will now be in place for four more weeks.
The move comes after an ongoing rise in Victorian coronavirus case numbers over the past few weeks, with "the majority of our outbreaks are now coming from settings where people are working closely together," the government said.
The State of Emergency declaration allows the state's authorised officers to "act to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health" as directed by Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton. That means restricting movement, preventing entry to premises and venues, and detaining people — measures that have been in place over the past four months as the state responds to the coronavirus.
Announcing the extended State of Emergency in a press conference today, Sunday, July 19, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos noted that it was necessary "
Fines continue to be handed out to folks who breach the restrictions, with the state's financial penalties spanning up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses. Under the State of Emergency, people who refuse to comply can also be taken to court, where the fine imposed could reach up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria and how to protect yourself, head to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on July 19, 2020 by Sarah Ward