Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed Victoria will begin a five-day stage four lockdown from midnight tonight. The lockdown is in response to the spread of the UK strain, linked to the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport, which the Premier says is spreading faster than contact tracers can keep up.
“We are having cases test positive – and we, in rapid time we get notified of that positive test result – by the time we find that case as positive, they’ve already infected their close contacts,” he said.
“That makes it incredibly difficult, incredibly difficult to do contact tracing, because there is no gap, if you like, between when we have the first case and their close contacts and potentially others that they have spent time with.
Mr Andrews said health authorities are now assuming there are further cases in the community that they do not know about.
“It is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country over the course of these last 12 months,” he said.
Victorians will have only four essential reasons to leave the home, which was also a fixture in last year’s.
They are: shopping for essential goods or services, work or study if you can’t from home, seeking or giving care and for exercise for two hours per day.
Below is a list of some other restrictions announced by the Premier:
- You must stay within 5km of your home other than for permitted work
- Masks are mandatory everywhere in Victoria
- No visitors to anyone’s home
- Public gatherings not permitted at all
- Schools will close but will remain open for vulnerable children or children of essential workers
- Religious gatherings and ceremonies are not permitted.
- Funerals can involve no more than 10 people.
- Hospitality will move to take away only