Melbourne’s current lockdown will continue for another two weeks until at least September 2 with an evening curfew being introduced.
With 22 new local Covid cases recorded – 14 infectious in the community – on Monday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the state was at a tipping point and had no other option.
Seven weeks after Sydney went into lockdown with similar numbers, NSW recorded a new record of 478 local cases as the death toll continues to rise. The NSW government put the entire state into lockdown on the weekend.
“I don’t want to have to stand here and report deaths. I don’t want to have to stand here and report hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cases every day and perhaps an even greater number of people in hospital,” Daniels said.
Melburnians are now under new restrictions, including a curfew from 9pm to 5am, which began on Monday night.
“These restrictions are hard work for every Victorian. Everyone wants this pandemic to be over, but the rules are in place for a reason – we know they work and if we follow them together, we’ll be able to lift them sooner,” Andrews said.
The problem for the state is that average exposure days – the number of days an infectious person is out in the community – was 0.61 and declining at this point in the previous outbreak.
With the Delta strain believed to be more infectious the current outbreak the average exposure days is 1.8.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said put simply, the cases diagnosed on Sunday were infectious in the community for a total of 15 days, compared to 0 for the same point during the last outbreak.
“At the moment we have a steady number of cases who are out in the community each day, and an increasing number of mystery cases, and we need to get ahead of that,” he said.
“These new measures will help us limit movement, so we can catch up and shut down this outbreak.”
Curfew and permits
The curfew from 9pm to 5am operates as it did last year, with very limited reasons to leave the home.
Permits will be required to leave the house for authorised work, consistent with the arrangements in 2020.
Additional restrictions will also apply to the construction industry, again operating as it did last year with staffing reductions in place except for critical infrastructure and emergency repairs.
At large scale construction sites, staffing must reduce to 25% or five workers on site, whichever is higher.
Authorised workers will be required to carry permits when working, and when travelling for work, from 11:59pm on Tuesday August 17. The permits need to be certified by an employer. Permits will be available on the coronavirus website before these directions come into effect.
Permits will also need to be carried by higher education students who are on the Authorised Provider list.
Playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment are now closed. People will not be able to remove their masks to drink alcoholic beverages in public.
Exercise is limited to just you and one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home. The slight change is that if you live in a larger household such as a share house, or with extended family, you can no longer exercise with all members of your household.
The restriction that there are still only five reasons to leave your home: shopping for the things you need – one person per household per day, care and caregiving, exercise, authorised work and study – and to get a vaccine, remain in place.
Exercise and shopping are still limited to 5km from your home. If there are no shops in your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you. You are also able to travel more than 5km to get a vaccine if you need to.
Visitor to your home are banned.
Victorians can book their vaccination appointment at portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 675 398.
Details on vaccination centres, including opening hours, are available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/