MELBOURNE’S lockdown will be extended by seven days.
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the restrictions, which came into place last Thursday night, will continue until at least 11.59pm, Thursday, August 19.
The news comes after regional Victoria came out of lockdown on Monday night, but with some restrictions in place.
Victoria’s has 116 active locally acquired cases of COVID, nearly 300 exposure sites and more than 12,000 active primary close contacts around greater Melbourne, but Mr Andrews said the movement of people still needed to be limited so contact tracers can get ahead of the virus.
“With more than 100 active cases in our community and more than 12,000 primary close contacts, we cannot afford to open up and let this variant run free – we need to get in front of this, just like we have done before,” he said.
People will still only be able to leave home for five reasons: to get the food and the essential supplies, for exercise for up to two hours, for care or caregiving, permitted work or education if it can’t be done from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.
Shopping and exercise must be done within five kilometres of home or the nearest location.
Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the Delta variant was more infectious and moving so quickly that the risk can’t be taken to open up too soon.
“This extension of the current restrictions will help us catch and contain it,” he said.
The reduce the risk of New South Wales residents with the virus entering Victoria, people in Victoria-NSW border bubble will now be required to obtain a permit to cross the border from 6pm Friday.
“Cross Border Community Area” residents can cross the Victoria-NSW border for necessary goods and services, including medical care; care or other compassionate reasons; paid or voluntary work; education; receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, or organised/community sport and exercise connected to or organised by a club or facility.
Residents will be able to apply for a permit from Thursday afternoon at the Service Victoria website and via the Service Victoria app.
For more information call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.