Virus Testing a Must to Ease Tower Lockdown

July 7, 2020 Updated: July 7, 2020

Residents in nine public housing towers in Melbourne will have hard lockdown rules eased once they are all tested for COVID-19 and the results are evaluated.

The 3000 people inside the apartments will then be able to enter the newly announced six-week stage three lockdown for the rest of the city.

“There are teams going out floor by floor and door by door to do the important testing,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on July 7.

“As soon as we can get the testing down, we’ll be in a position to assess the data and make new rules for the towers.”

The towers lockdown order is for 14 days, but Andrews hopes to end it in five.

Residents relied on deliveries of food and supplies from the state government for the first two days, some of which was expired, insufficient or culturally inappropriate, such as pork given to Muslims.

Donations were also turned away from some of the towers in Flemington and North Melbourne on Monday night.

The Melbourne Public Tenants Association said residents had been left in the dark since the immediate lockdown was enforced on Saturday.

Authorities have apologised for the delay in delivering donated food and supplies to the thousands of residents in the towers.

Christine McGinn in Melbourne