Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a one-week extension of Melbourne’s lockdown today after a number of “mystery cases” were included in the state’s COVID-19 infection numbers.
Of the 20 new locally acquired cases, 15 were linked to current outbreaks but the remaining five are still under investigation or are unlinked to the current outbreaks, meaning contact tracers cannot determine where or how they were infected.
“Overnight we have added to the number of mysteries, the number of unanswered questions out there,” Andrews said.
“That’s why, sadly, today the Cabinet of the Government we have met and we have determined to accept the advice of the Chief Health Officer to extend for a further period of seven days until 11.59pm next Thursday.”
As it stands, health officials are currently grappling with 116 active locally acquired cases, nearly 300 exposure sites and more than 12,000 active primary close contacts around Greater Melbourne.
“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,” Andrews said.
As such, for the next seven days Melburnians can still only leave home for five reasons: to get food and supplies, to exercise for up to two hours, for care or caregiving, for permitted work or education if you can’t do it from home or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.
Shopping and exercise must be done within 5km of your 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.
As Victorian officials remain concerned about the level of COVID-19 coming into the state from New South Wales, residents of cross-border community local government areas (LGAs) will now be required to obtain a permit to enter Victoria from 6pm, Friday 13 August.
Residents will be able to apply for a permit from Thursday afternoon at the Service Victoria website, service.vic.gov.au and via the Service Victoria app.
“If this virus can get from Sydney to Byron Bay, to Dubbo, to Armidale, to Tamworth then only a fool would think that it couldn’t get to Aubrey,” Andrews said.
“That’s why we need to go beyond just a bubble - we need to have permits.”
Updated at 11.32am AEST on 11 August 2021.
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