Greek Australian business owner talks about being a Tier 1 exposure site in Melbourne

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Some Melburnians have woken up this morning to the first day of Melbourne’s snap five-day lockdown worse off than others. 

Wani Sakellaropoulos is the co-owner of Ms. Frankie’s in inner Melbourne and says she’s been hit by a bad case of déjà vu after being forced to shut her doors for two weeks. 

“I’m sitting in line waiting to be tested this morning and it just seems like a little bit of a cycle that keeps repeating itself,” she tells the Greek Herald. 

“This current situation that we find ourselves in isn’t something that we’ve experienced yet.” 

Ms. Frankie is a popular Italian restaurant in the inner Melbourne suburb of Cremorne (Photo: Marton Custom Builders)

Mrs. Sakellaropoulos is in-line waiting for her COVID-19 test after receiving a call from Melbourne Health late last night. 

The representative tells her that a positive case of COVID-19 swung by her and her husband Giorgio’s Italian restaurant around 6pm to 7:45pm before heading down to go watch the rugby at Melbourne’s AAMI stadium on Tuesday, 13 July.

“We got a call last night saying… that we needed to shut down, deep clean, and to get tested and that regardless of a negative result, we have to quarantine for 14 days,” she says. 

“We hope that everybody can return a negative, we deep clean the restaurant, and come out the other end.” 

Ms. Frankie joins the ranks of Vanilla in Oakleigh that has also been listed as a tier 1 exposure site since the Delta outbreak reached Melbourne.  

Vanilla in Oakleigh urged all customers who visited their store on 9 July to get tested and get in touch with the Department of Health via their Facebook page (Photo: Facebook screenshots)

They’ve just been given the ‘all-clear’ after a positive case of COVID-19 visited their restaurant on Friday afternoon, 9 July. 

“[The South East Public Health Unit] went above and beyond to assist us to ensure that we were ready to open our doors again in record time,” they posted to their Facebook page. 

“The infectious control team (IPCAR-ICCOM), otherwise known as the outbreak squad, were superheroes.” 

Mrs. Sakellaropoulos says her staff are currently looking into COVID-19 emergency support from the government to for what she predicts will be a lockdown that lasts longer than the intended five days.

“I was just saying to my business partner [that] we’ve got a lot of staff in their early-to-middle 20’s that are dealing with lots of people on a daily basis and they still don’t qualify [as priority for a vaccine],” she says. 

“It’s a worry but I think hopefully the government can roll out a better vaccine program and [if] we can all get vaccinated, this nightmare ends.” 

Melbourne Health is urging anybody who has visited a tier 1 exposure site to immediately isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. You can contact the Department of Health on 1300 651 160. 

Do you have a similar community story? Email us at: greek@foreignlanguage.com.au

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