Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended for another seven days as the Victorian authorities remain concerned about the high transmission rate of the Indian variant of the CCP virus.
On Wednesday, Acting Premier James Merlino confirmed that Greater Melbourne would remain in lockdown for one more week. At the same time, some restrictions in regional Victoria will ease from 11.59 pm on Thursday as scheduled.
“I know that this is not the news that everyone wants to hear for Melbourne today,” Merlino said.
“But given the cases that we’ve had and that we are still seeing, the Chief Health Officer had no choice but to put this advice to government, and the government had no choice but to accept that advice from the Chief Health Officer.”
“We’ve got to run this to ground because if we don’t, people will die.”
The five reasons to leave home remain for Melbourne residents: shopping for food and essential items, providing or receiving care, exercise, working or studying, and getting vaccinated. The travel limit for exercise and shopping will be extended from 5 to 10 km. Masks are mandatory both indoors and outdoors.
Students in years 11 and 12 will resume face-to-face studying, while some outdoor jobs such as landscaping, painting, solar panel installation and letterboxing will be permitted.
— James Merlino (@JamesMerlinoMP) June 2, 2021
Travel restrictions and the five reasons for leaving home will be lifted in regional Victoria. Outdoor gathering limits are now raised to 10 people, while private gatherings are still not allowed, and masks are compulsory both indoors and outdoors if social distance can’t be guaranteed.
After the new lockdown, the acting premier said the government expects to “carefully ease restrictions in Melbourne.”
“But there will continue to be differences between the settings in Melbourne compared to regional Victoria.”
The Victoria government will grant another $209 million to support businesses and ask the federal government for financial help.
“I do hope that the Commonwealth will swiftly confirm that they will step up and provide that support,” Merlino said. “If they do not, I will be raising this directly at national cabinet on Friday.”
Victoria has recorded six new locally acquired cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of the Indian variant outbreak to 60. One of the new cases travelled to NSW, triggering a high alert for the southern part of the state.
In the past 24 hours to midnight, 51,033 people were tested, and 20,585 doses of vaccination were administered.